Call it good timing, call it planning or call it dumb luck, but the first hour of Raw on Monday was jam-packed to the point that no other hour of Raw in recent history was so must-see. The second hour was bound to be a let-down (which it was) and the third hour did it's best to bring the audience back.
The WWE Universe learned that Kurt Angle will wrestle again, Nia Jax and Samoa Joe were back and Braun Strowman was half awesome and half cheesy horror movie. That said, seeing as this was the Halloween episode of Raw, fans shouldn't be terribly surprised that WWE would throw in a bit of goofiness.
Not everything was great, but Raw was strong enough to be considered a winner even without SmackDown Live showing up. Here are your Five Winners and Five Losers From Raw - October 30, 2017.
5. Loser - Jason Jordan
It's understandable that Jason Jordan now needs a nemesis worth fighting with, especially since his pops is fighting in the main event at Survivor Series. Choosing Elias actually had some potential too, but the feud has fallen flat.
Elias is much more over, but the battle has been lowered to throwing vegetables and destroying guitars. Surely the WWE could do better. Elias is going to come out on top in this battle and that will leave Jordan in an unenviable position.
5. Winner - Stephanie McMahon
She interrupted Kurt Angle and asked if anyone missed her, and to be honest, a lot of us did. She was her regular conniving and irritating self, but it played well to the audience and she immediately gave Survivor Series meaning by forcing Angle in as the captain of the Raw team.
Survivor Series is one of those shows you have to somewhat suspend your realistic thinking and believe wrestlers who normally hate each other and their shows will simply work together for one night without incident. Adding the stipulation that Raw stands to lose its GM gives the red brand a cause worth fighting for (or at least one Angle sees as important).
4. Loser - Trick or Street Fight
Yes, it was Halloween, but no, there is no need for such a cheesy waste of time as was the Trick or Street Fight between Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows versus Rhyno and Heath Slater. Trying to hit the comedy home run, it was a terrible strike-out and simply wasn't entertaining.
The announcers did their best and having Gallows and Anderson dress in their Regional Southpaw Wrestling characters helped a little, but the show could have and should have done without this segment.
4. Winner - Kurt Angle
Admittedly, we were not fans of Angle joining TLC, and we believed that using him now was going to ruin the potential huge return that WWE could have promoted with vigor down the road. But, if you are going to use him, you might as well use him more than once since you've open that door.
It's uncertain how much Angle can handle in the ring right now so the Survivor Series setting is perfect. He can work on a team and limit his time in the ring or if he's good to go, work more of the match as he gets comfortable. And, like we said before, now the match means something.
RELATED: KURT ANGLE NAMED CAPTAIN OF TEAM RAW
3. Loser - Bayley
Bayley was basically used to promote the return of Nia Jax, and while Jax deserved the win and should be seen as the dominant female force in WWE, to come at the expense of Bayley is not great for Bayley's future. It's clear the WWE does not see her on the same level as the top females in the WWE and that she'll likely be left of Survivor Series now is too bad.
Bayley had some offense on Monday but for the most part, got walked on pretty good. Monday was her official step down the totem pole for a while.
3. Winner - Nia Jax
Whether you believed the rumors that Nia Jax was mad at WWE over her character and/or contract situation or you heard that she simply needed a break from the grueling schedule that is the WWE travel, its all in the past as Jax returned with a vengeance and worked herself onto Alica Fox's Survivor Series team.
Jax looked good in her return. She was quick and ready to roll and if she was being bothered by some sort of nagging injury, there was no way of knowing. Credit to Fox here too. She was extremely entertaining as the team captain.
Trying to wrap our heads around the destructive nature that is Kane is tricky. The WWE Universe has spent so many years watching him be goofy comedy act and he's so past his prime that to believe he can take out Raw's top stars now is asking a lot of the fans. His push is obviously to set up a meeting with Strowman and maybe Reigns, but it feels poorly planned out and other WWE Superstars are suffering because of it.
The fact that he attacked Daniel Bryan is also an interesting choice.
2. Winner - Samoa Joe
He's back! We didn't hear much about him while he was gone and it is uncertain if that was intentional on the part of WWE or not but they played that up and had Joe come out and verbally trashed the WWE Universe for not caring. He was going to use that as motivation, taking it out on every person who he faced in the ring. His first foe was Apollo Crews.
Joe looked like he hadn't lost a step despite being out of action for a couple months. He also looked mean and ready to take the role as one of Raw's top heel characters.
RELATED: SAMOA JOE RETURNS TO RAW
Normally, we have five winners and five losers but Raw was so jammed with action that even though not everything was perfect, there was too much good to evenly weigh out the scales. Braun Strowman was a good example of that.
His return means a lot to Raw itself and that he's going after The Miz is and his Miztourage is pure entertainment, even if it feels campy at times. He wasn't gone long but he was missed and that's a sign of a true star.
1. Winner - The Miz
The Miz is turning into the prized possession of Raw and perhaps the most entertaining thing on the show. When some of the bigger names left and there was a spot that needed filling, The Miz has stepped up in a big way, and with all the action that was this most recent episode of the show, it revolved around him.
Sometimes opportunity is all someone needs to take a big next step and The Miz is seizing it. He truly is becoming the A-List WWE Superstar and fans should be excited.
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