For the biggest winners of the Jan. 6 edition of WWE Raw, victory came in the form of intimidation, opportunity and redemption.
The "old school" theme had surprise guests populate Raw's three hours, and no surprise was bigger than Jake Roberts carrying a snake-filled bag over his shoulder in the night's final segment. He joins Big Show and Roman Reigns as the men who benefited most from the show's events.
In contrast, Damien Sandow and Sin Cara slid away from the WWE forefront.
Uncertainty surrounds those Superstars while promise shines on Reigns, Big Show and Roberts. Beyond just wins and losses, career trajectories were altered on Monday's Raw.
Winner: Big Show
"The World's Largest Athlete" was made to look like the monster other monsters are afraid of.
Forget that Big Show couldn't get past Randy Orton a few months ago. Forget that he was asked to dress like a baby before New Year's Eve. The image fresh in fans' minds is Big Show launching Brock Lesnar from one side of the ring to the other.
Lesnar had just finished leaving Mark Henry's arm limp when Big Show stomped toward the fray.
"The Beast" backed away from Big Show, fearful and cautious. Once he had a chance to sucker punch the big man, Lesnar jumped on it. That's when the former UFC champ took a flight from turnbuckle to turnbuckle.
Big Show not only appears to be getting to be a part of Lesnar's limited schedule, but he will be portrayed as a legitimate threat to take him down. That's a rare honor, one that comes with a bright spotlight.
Loser: Damien Sandow
Sandow ended his night flailing in a senior citizen's grip. He's recently slid down the card to the position of comic fodder and WWE punching bag.
The Great Khali dominated him in their matchup. Khali had him howling in the corner, suffering chops, stomps and clotheslines. Moments later, the bout was over.
Even though Sandow's right foot was on the rope, guest referee Sgt. Slaughter counted to three. "The Intellectual Savior of the Masses" argued but only got a Cobra Clutch from the Hall of Famer for his troubles.
He continues to be booked as less and less of a threat. Being manhandled by Khali and pushed around by a 65-year-old retired wrestler is a far cry from being "The Uncrowned Heavyweight Champion." It will be a struggle for Sandow to climb back upward after fans begin to associate him with follies like he experienced on Monday.
Winner: Roman Reigns
He did get a bit of help from a Dean Ambrose distraction, but Reigns can boast about a pinfall victory over CM Punk.
The win may not have been clean, but it wasn't cheap either. Reigns took Punk's best shots, including three running knees to his chin, and rose from the mat each time. He had Punk writhing in pain, holding his ribs and wrestling in survival mode for much of the match.
Reigns looked mighty intimidating in the Piper's Pit segment where he told Roddy Piper that if he touched him again, he would "break his old ass."
He followed that up with a spot in the night's main event and a win over one of WWE's top stars. With The Shield's infighting continuing each week, it won't be long before Reigns is free to rocket upward alone. He continues to get the bigger slice of spotlight pointed at The Shield.
Loser: Sin Cara
Alberto Del Rio broke his losing streak against Sin Cara and little was made of it afterward. Losing to the former world champ is no disgrace, but what looked like a budding rivalry was essentially ignored.
Del Rio was more aggressive in this third bout between them in the last few weeks.
He avoided the senton bomb and countered with a jaw-rattling kick for the win. When Del Rio grabbed a mic and began to rant, Sin Cara was not on his mind. Instead, he spoke of the Royal Rumble and promised to eliminate Batista.
His rivalry with Del Rio was seemingly Sin Cara's ticket to prominence, but that appears to be over already. His momentum is a memory and he seems to heading away from center stage in this story.
Winner: Jake Roberts
It doesn't matter if WWE follows up on Roberts' return or not; this is already a victory.
Roberts' journey has been a dark one filled with drugs and embarrassment. The latest leg of that trip saw him trot down to the ring after the main event on Monday's Raw.
When The Shield looked to pound Punk after the bell rang, Roberts was there to scatter the group.
"The Snake" looked to be in great shape, to be having fun and to be glowing. WWE posting a video playlist of his best matches and a photo gallery of his career highlights points to this not being a one-time appearance.
Even if it was for one night only, it's a major win for Roberts. He gets a triumphant moment to savor, to be the center of the week's headlines and hero for the day.