If you have Triple H's power, you don't need an official match to emerge as the biggest winner from the March 17 edition of WWE Raw.
His heartlessness left Daniel Bryan in need of medical attention and had Triple H shove his crown into the audience's face. The Shield and The Real Americans found victory by avoiding inner conflict and funneling their anger toward other teams.
Titus O'Neil and Goldust didn't have such boast-worthy nights.
Both Superstars goofed around, leaving little impression on fans. It was Antonio Cesaro's best weapon, The Shield's new attitude and Triple H's fury that served as the high point of Monday's Raw.
Winner: The Shield
Just when the cracks in The Shield seemed like they could only widen, the group has bonded together once more, now united against a new enemy.
Kane gave The Shield a chance to prove their loyalty. On Monday's Raw, he instructed them to tear Jerry Lawler apart.
In the Director of Operations' mind, Lawler was behind Bryan's Raw protest last week. He deserved a beatdown as punishment, and who better to administer it than Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
The trio teased an attack on the announcer, but instead bared their fangs at Kane.
It seems that The Shield are the hired guns who can't be controlled forever. Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins appear to have become babyfaces after attacking Kane again, a surprising move that adds intrigue to their story.
Even without an announced WrestleMania match yet, they have remained a major focus.
The thrill ride that has been their run together won't end just yet. Instead, they will play a new role, aiming their fury at Kane and The Authority.
Loser: Titus O'Neil
For the briefest of moments, O'Neil was a villain bursting with potential, freed from a partnership that he claimed held him down. He has gone from running toward a new horizon to stumbling around.
In a match against Sheamus on Monday's Raw, he occupied the background.
The focus was on Sheamus and Hornswoggle, who teamed up to embarrass O'Neil and celebrate St. Patrick's Day together. Other than O'Neil's beard and hat that he wore to the ring, he didn't get a chance to offer much for the audience to remember.
Sheamus got the victory. Hornswoggle provided the comedy as Sheamus used him as a weapon. Christian, who attacked "The Celtic Warrior" post-match, pulled in more spotlight than O'Neil.
All the momentum O'Neil created by breaking up The Prime Time Players appears to be gone. He's a role player watching the stars shine around him.
Winner: The Real Americans
In the past few weeks, it appeared certain that Jack Swagger and Cesaro were destined to break up.
They fought themselves more often than they did their opponents. Zeb Colter had to calm them down on several occasions.
On Monday's Raw, they took The Shield's lead and went back to being a cohesive unit.
They defeated The Usos thanks to Cesaro treating Jimmy Uso's chin like a hanging curveball. His nasty uppercut and Neutralizer was enough to put away the tag champs and launch The Real Americans into title contention.
It now seems as if Cesaro and Swagger may be the duo challenging The Usos for the straps at WrestleMania XXX.
With just one match and one win, Colter's team has gone from a squabbling mess to a team on the cusp of a title shot. The expected breakup may prevent them from making the most of that opportunity, but for now, The Real Americans have plenty to celebrate.
"The Bizarre One" added a win to his record by pinning Fandango on Monday's Raw, but it won't be a match that goes into his greatest hits collection.
Goldust's dancing-to-wrestling ratio looked like something Santino Marella would produce.
Beyond his comedy-relief antics, though, this was a sloppy match that left Goldust appearing to be legitimately angry with Fandango. An errant move had the two foes bang heads, leaving Goldust with blood dripping from a cut above his eye.
That pain was coupled with the frustration of being a part of a botched suplex attempt. Whatever is in store for him on SmackDown has to be better than his Raw experience.
Winner: Triple H
In the end, the fight may go to Bryan, but Triple H won this round emphatically.
To open Monday's Raw, he argued with Batista and Randy Orton, ending the segment by announcing a new stipulation for WrestleMania XXX. If he defeats Bryan that night, he will join Orton and Batista in the main event with a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The COO wasn't done for the evening, though.
He spoke with Bryan to end the show, saying how much he respected his courage. However, those words were just a way to have Bryan lower his guard. Triple H had a cadre of fake cops handcuff his WrestleMania opponent so that he could thrash him without consequence.
Triple H then proceeded to deliver a beating that would make Brock Lesnar say, "Don't you have any mercy?"
He slammed him onto the announce table and cracked a chair onto the crown of his head. It didn't have nearly as many chair shots, but felt uncomfortable to watch, much like The Rock's throttling of Mankind at the 1999 Royal Rumble.
After this attack, Bryan is certain to strike back, but Triple H announced to the audience that he is indeed WWE's king of villains.
At the end of Monday's Raw, it will be his dastardliness that fans will most talk about. It will be the state he left Bryan in that will most burn into fans' minds.
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