Airing just six days before one of the most exciting events on the WWE calendar, every superstar wanted to make an impact on this week’s episode of Raw. From those trying to earn an opportunity to those trying to convince us all that this is their time, Monday night was the breeding ground for so many looking to build momentum.
So, here are the superstars who came out of Monday night stronger and those who hit a roadblock this week on WWE’s red brand:
WINNER – Drew McIntyre and Goldberg
We hadn’t seen the WWE Champion, or his challenger, live on WWE television since Goldberg issued his challenge to the Scottish destroyer. COVID-19 hit Drew McIntyre this month and thankfully the champion was able to overcome it during the past two weeks. The return of these two goliaths needed to build hype for their Royal Rumble clash – and that it did.
Just as Goldberg’s matches are hard-hitting and over in a flash, so was this promo. The two men stood face-to-face, built tension and hit their finishers on the pot-stirring Miz and John Morrison. Their spot was exactly what it needed to be.
WINNER – Sheamus
The Celtic Warrior spent 2020 finding his feet in WWE once more. After a few years of success alongside Cesaro, as part of The Bar, in 2020 Sheamus went solo again. He feuded in the mid-card with the likes of Jeff Hardy and Big E, before linking-up with Drew McIntyre on Raw.
The Fella had looked good, but until this week, he seemed still a step away from the big time. A very strong match against John Morrison, followed by a handicap match against both Morrison and his tag-team partner, The Miz, changed all that.
The Great White may have lost the second match-up, but in agreeing to fight against the odds and in battling, resisting and taking his licks, Sheamus looked like a genuine force once more. This is a great start to a renewed push, but it needs to be capitalised on.
LOSER – Alexa Bliss
For the second week on the spin, Alexa Bliss faced Asuka in the main event. After pinning the Empress of Tomorrow last week, this one-on-one was for the Raw Women’s Championship. However, Alexa Bliss did not win the title.
Alexa’s night started in her Playground, in which she was absolutely captivating in recapping the last few weeks. Later in the night, she was in full-control of the Raw Women’s champ. Bliss’ mind games stepped up to the next level, with the challenger playing her new Playground character, reverting to her old-school Goddess character and then dominating as her new demon alter-ego, all in the space of a few minutes.
All paths were leading to Bliss being atop this article, as the biggest of winners, but Randy Orton had other ideas. With a singed face and malice in his veins, the Legend Killer RKO-ed Bliss just as she was about to put Asuka away. Her title chance was gone, and she’s now got a real Viper problem to deal with.
LOSER – Bobby Lashley
The United States champion, Bobby Lashley, looks as good as he ever has in WWE. He’s obliterating anyone he faces, looks reasonably comfortable on the mic and has a elite tier finisher in his arsenal. Since he teamed up with MVP, Lashley’s stock has only continued to rise.
Yet, he’s under threat. Yes, Riddle has earned himself a shot as Lashley’s gold, having beaten Shelton Benjamin, MVP and Cedric Alexander in a Gaulter match this week, but the Original Bro is not that threat. Without distraction or outside interference, Bobby has been booked strong enough that he’d surely make Riddle tap. The only thing that could change that is those closest to him.
Not only has Lashley got to watch his own back and the gold around his waist, he’s got to make sure the dissension between Alexander and Benjamin does not cost him his title. It could well.
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