Before Monday's WWE Raw ended with John Cena leaving Randy Orton lying in the center of a broken table, the night's biggest winners had already wrapped up their victories.
A member of The Wyatt Family looked like an untameable beast in a losing effort, the man who once played Sin Cara Negro and Wade Barrett all left the Chesapeake Energy Arena will plenty to be happy about. The same can't be said for Titus O'Neil and Dolph Ziggler. The former became a punchline; the latter continued to be a punching bag.
Beyond wins and losses, who acquired the most momentum and improved their position the most?
He wound up on his back to end his match, but Erick Rowan has to be on that list. He forced people to talk about him after an exercise in brutality.
Winner: Erick Rowan
Daniel Bryan eventually got the win over the big man, but Rowan put on a dominant, impressive performance in the loss.
The story of their match was that Bryan was simply surviving against Rowan, unable to sustain any offense. Rowan tossed Bryan around the ring and slammed him against the security barricade.
So much of the talk about The Wyatt Family has been about Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt, but Rowan got a chance to show that he's not dead weight on that team. Battling Bryan produced the best match of his WWE career so far.
Bryan's win wasn't a decisive one, either. Bryan used a schoolboy pin to get the three-count, a move that keeps Rowan's intimidating aura intact for the most part.
Loser: Titus O'Neil
The vomiting antics on last Friday's SmackDown seemed to be a one-time occurrence, one that celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday in juvenile fashion. O'Neil won an eating contest, which led to him puking during his match against Antonio Cesaro.
On Monday's Raw, the joke wasn't over.
The Prime Time Players took on The Real Americans, and O'Neil's queasiness quickly became the central focus. Cesaro swung O'Neil in the ring, leaving O'Neil looking as if he was going to vomit again. How long does an upset stomach last anyway?
Only tagging his partner Darren Young saved O'Neil from repeating Friday's pukefest.
Rather than bill O'Neil as a powerful athlete or charming warrior, the newest direction of his character was that he can be made to upchuck mid-match. Superman has kryptonite, and O'Neil has this for now.
Hopefully, this is not going to develop into a running angle similar to when Natalya became known for farting. O'Neil is capable of a lot more than some gimmick built on bodily fluids. On Monday, though, that was his biggest contribution to the show.
Sin Cara made a rare appearance on Raw, complete with a tattooed right arm and a heftier build. Hunico replaced the original Sin Cara, at least for one night.
As Hunico, he was rarely used on TV, sometimes teaming with Camacho on NXT or SmackDown. Should WWE hand him the Sin Cara character on a full-time basis, his stock shoots upward in a hurry.
In addition to trading in his gangster gimmick for a mask, Hunico earned a huge win against Alberto Del Rio.
Unless it's against John Cena, Del Rio just doesn't lose often. After a recent stretch where he made Ziggler tap out, dominated Santino Marella and left Big Show in need of medical attention, a clean loss to someone so often left out of WWE programming is big news.
That move seems to point at WWE planning to push Hunico as Sin Cara, giving him the chance to dazzle crowds while the original Sin Cara is reportedly on his way out, per F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com.
Loser: Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler has gone from rising star to stepping stone, from world champ to midcarder in a matter of months.
The night after WrestleMania 29, Ziggler celebrated with the World Heavyweight Championship in his grasp. On Monday's Raw, he failed to become the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship. Damien Sandow defeated him, allowing Sandow to challenge Big E Langston at TLC 2013 and leaving Ziggler without a match at the upcoming pay-per-view.
That loss added to a recent trend where he has been unable to capture midcard gold.
He lost to Curtis Axel and Dean Ambrose in recent attempts to capture their respective titles. His new role is apparently to help push other guys forward. That's a position one can take pride in, but Ziggler's fans believe him to be capable of much more.
Winner: Wade Barrett
In spite of being asked to make a joke about constipation, Monday marked a significant step up for Barrett.
Standing behind a podium, Barrett delivered bad news to the crowd, including the fact that he was "stuck in an arena filled with hillbillies and overweight miscreants." Now going by "Bad News Barrett," he riled up the Oklahoma City crowd quite well.
After not being on Raw for months, Barrett finally found his way back on camera.
The role he has played on The JBL and Cole Show debuted on a much larger stage. It's a role that may or may not have staying power, but at least Barrett has now been given a chance to succeed, something he had didn't have when he was on the bench for all that time.
Without stepping into the ring, Barrett joins Hunico and Rowan as Raw's biggest winners—the Superstars who made upward movement Monday night.
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