WWE RAW - January 1, 2018: Biggest winners and losers
The first RAW of 2018 emanated from Miami. The show was decent enough with usual high and low spots and appearances by Brock Lesnar, Kane, The Balor Club, Roman Reigns, Asuka and Samoa Joe. Let's have a quick look at the biggest winners and losers from the episode.
Winner: Jason Jordan
WWE has really done well presenting Jordan as a cocky superstar, who can back it up in the ring. He is a talented performer which was evident from the story Cesaro and Jordan told in a solid match.
Jordan has started getting a reaction from the crowd ('who's your daddy' and 'daddy's boy' chants are evidence) which is a big positive for him.
Jordan picked up the win with Seth Rollings making sure that he has got him under his wing. Later his interaction with the other member of Shield, Roman Reigns, showed that the WWE has plans to keep him involved in big stories.
Loser: Nia Jax
Nia has to be the biggest loser on this episode. Not only was she not performing on the show but her association with Alexa Bliss seems to be in hot waters.
WWE has put her in a stupid love angle with Enzo Amore (I don't understand WWE's fetish with love angles).
I don't know if she is in the WWE doghouse for missing a couple of weeks, but if she took that casual leave due to her differences with the creative, her current direction is a good reason for her to quit altogether.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman had the best year of his career in 2017. It appears that the coming months are also going to be all about him. He is massively over with the crowd. I even think he purposefully went off-script to plant Rhyno and Slater repeatedly.
Nonetheless, the crowded wanted it and Strowman obliged. However, WWE needs to be a little careful. Overexposing Braun might lead to him ending up like Ryback, who was also once cheered for squash matches like this.
Although Braun had a nice outing, it could have been better had he been involved in the main event brawl between Kane and Lesnar. His absence made him look like the third wheel in the Lesnar-Kane rivalry, which WWE obviously would want to avoid.
Although it is plainly obvious that he is not going to win at the Royal Rumble PPV, WWE's inconsistent booking has made Kane look like a fool. First, they book him strongly by making him beat Finn Balor in an emphatic way and then his finisher, the chokeslam, is made to look so weak that Lesnar actually got up laughing.
On top of that, WWE had the locker room appear and hold back Kane from having an all-out brawl with Brock.
I was totally dumbfounded and could not understand if WWE is trying to sell Kane as a credible opponent or not.
WWE did not even have Braun Strowman show up in any capacity. Overall, it was a disappointing main event segment (except for Heyman's promo) which made Kane look like an idiot.
Winner: The Balor Club (or The Bullet Club)
This one is conditional. Fans will face a massive disappointment if the Balor Club reunion was just a one-night affair. The Good Brothers and Finn Balor have had a poor year in 2017 and the trio is in dire need of a fresh direction.
If the WWE has really paired them together, it is a positive for all the three men. The Club has a great chemistry and it can be well reflected in the Royal Rumble match where they can gang up and beat the opposition. The Club can even have great matches with The Shield.
The possibilities are immense, however, the WWE needs to have the trio have a run together. Too sweet!
Don't agree with the list? Do you think there could have been more? Just sound off in the comments below.