Raw had to be exceedingly good if it was going to match up to the three championships matches and hype that has been generated for Tuesday's SmackDown Live. In an effort to attract viewers, John Cena and Roman Reigns got into a Twitter war a couple days prior to the show and the hope was that the buzz from that exchange would be enough to take the week.
Despite some interesting announcements, a cool confrontation between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman and another promo that touched a little too close to home for Reigns, a weaker main event means Raw likely won't measure up.
Here are your 5 Winners and 5 Losers From Raw - September 11, 2017.
5. Loser - Jason Jordan
Jordan is getting some solid television time and he's delivering high-quality matches, but he's being used to put over a storyline instead of having the WWE focus on his development. Some may argue that is these losses the WWE is telling his story, but we'd argue if that's the case, it's not a good sign. Used as a building block to suggest that both Roman Reigns and John Cena are on an equal footing, lost in the arc of these two trash-talking each other is the fact that Jordan lost two consecutive matches, and no one seems to care.
Jordan deserves better than this, and you knew it was going to be a downhill battle for him after it was announced he's connected to Kurt Angle. The WWE is going to have trouble continually finding ways to connect the dots.
5. Winner - Asuka
The biggest female free agent is on her way to the flagship show. Asuka has completed her tenure in NXT and she'll be heading to the red brand as soon as her injury heels. As bad as it is to say that Asuka is benefiting from being injured, she is. As of now, she's undefeated and her injury will let that streak last a little longer, her arrival to Raw can be built up for an extended series of vignettes, and it gives her plenty of time to heal and come into Raw and dominate.
The losers in this deal are the rest of the Raw Women's Division. The winner here is Nia Jax who will eventually be the only other female who stands a chance of taking Asuka down.
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4. Loser - Roman Reigns
It appears Roman Reigns is being booked to suffer on the losing end of these verbal battles with John Cena. This week, he really took a kick in the gut when Cena blasted him for his Wellness Policy violation and left the ring without giving Reigns a chance to retort. In many ways, it was a low blow, and some will argue this was out of bounds and a dumb move drawing attention to something many fans might not have otherwise thought about.
It appears as though Reigns is taking the beating in these promos and the exchange will be going over in the No Mercy matchup. If that's the case, this one moves from a loser to a winner.
4. Winner - John Cena
Cena got the good side of the deal on both occasions he showed up on Raw. He got the last word when it came to his promo with Roman Reigns and he got protected when Strowman got disqualified and Cena didn't have to put anyone over (which was a smart call).
It's possible that he went a little over the line with the drug test comment in the Reigns promo, but the way these in-ring sessions were headed, it shouldn't be a surprise that this is the level he (or the WWE) decided to sink to. Cena is likely doing everything he's being asked to, but he should have recognized the request to bring up Reigns Wellness Policy history was unnecessary. From verbally destroying Reigns to making Strowman look like a powerhouse, Cena is effectively playing his role before he passes the torch, but if he keeps running down his opponents this badly, what kind of leader will he be passing it to?
3. Loser - Emma
This entire segment was not very well done. It felt like a lazy way to remind us that the match at No Mercy is taking place between the four, but Bliss and Jax didn't offer much on commentary and the Banks versus Emma match was too short with no real payoff. It basically proved that Emma is the favorite to take the pin at the pay-pay-view.
This would have been better if the match never actually happened and the four women simply tried to take each other out. Instead, we get more proof that Emma is not a threat in the Women's Division even though she deserves better.
3. Winner - Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is doing a tremendous job of selling the power and pure force that is Braun Strowman. For a "Beast Incarnate" to be monster handled the way he has been to this point when Lesnar gets the win at No Mercy (which we predict he will), it will be a bigger surprise than people expected.
Right now, Lesnar has made it look like he's the underdog and even with losses to Goldberg, this is the first time since Lesnar's return that he's not the favorite. It's an interesting twist to his character, and it's working well for this particular feud.
2. Loser - Goldust
With the way Goldust was treated by Bray Wyatt, is this pretty much the end of Goldust's push? It's not so much that his push was terribly significant, but still, his vignettes didn't suggest he was set to come out and be humiliated by losing his face paint after the match.
The storyline was effective, but it's hard to tell what this means going forward for the character. For Goldust, losing the face paint is almost like a luchador losing his mask. It's a pretty big deal as far as the character is concerned.
2. Winner - Bray Wyatt
For the first time in a long time, Bray Wyatt's promo was well done, short and to the point and not really all over the place. Too often Wyatt drifts into unrecognizable metaphors but in this instance, he focused on Goldust's desire to hide behind his face paint and to prove a point, wiped it off after defeating him in the ring.
The match itself wasn't terribly monumental, but it was nice to see Wyatt's delivery be much more on point than it has been in a while.
1. Loser - The Main Event
This was not a strong way to end the show. In a match that felt more mid-card than the main event, nothing significant happened to warrant it being placed as the finish or the last image Raw had to leave viewers knowing they were watching the premier show.
With SmackDown Live as stacked as it is for Tuesday, Raw missed an opportunity to leave the WWE Universe wanting more. The "surprise element" of the 8-man tag match being the Hardyz was hardly a surprise. This match felt more like it should have ended the first hour, not the third.
1. Winner - The Miz and Maryse
After announcing that the It Couple is going to be expecting their first child, the image of The Miz cutting promos on wrestlers who disrespect his child is almost too enticing. Whether the news is actually true or being set up for a storyline, it adds another layer to the two, and it could be fun to watch.
Enzo usually doesn't provide much value here, but he was the right guy to have The Miz match up with to deliver this announcement. Enzo is arrogant enough that you expect him to be disrespectful, but also witty enough that he can turn the crowd into chanting "who's the daddy..."
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