Victory for Daniel Bryan and Big Show on the March 31 edition of WWE Raw meant sampling what a WrestleMania XXX triumph would taste like.
Bryan got a measure of revenge against his longtime tormentor. Big Show showed off his Battle Royal dominance once again.
Monday's Raw was less kind to Fandango and Bad News Barrett, both of whom enter WrestleMania with no momentum and, in Barrett's case, no guarantee of even competing.
The following is a look at who emerged from the go-home show with more focus and upward movement and who spent the night falling backward.
Winner: Summer Rae
Naomi pinned the Divas champ on Monday's Raw, but Summer's win didn't require any help.
Fandango's dance partner bested Natalya thanks to a kick to the head. Summer's match wasn't crowded with Lumber Jills like Naomi vs. AJ's, either. The spotlight focused on Summer, something fans will see much more of in the near future.
WWE showed a clip of Summer slapping Natalya on Total Divas before the two women started slapping each other in the ring.
Being added to that reality show, getting a win against a top Diva and even being in a Divas match outside of the championship picture all say a lot about how highly the company thinks of her.
Fresh off beating Natalya, she enters the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational as one of the favorites.
Although he only competed once, Fandango lost twice on Monday's Raw.
The first defeat came courtesy of Triple H when the COO denounced the peak of his popularity as a fad. He did follow up his derogatory comments by saying that Fandango could possibly be an A player, but many fans' takeaway was that this was a case of Triple H burying him.
Those comments wouldn't have mattered as much had Fandango not been on a losing streak that has seen him play the part of other men's fodder.
On Monday's Raw, he teamed with Damien Sandow against Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a losing effort. Losses in wrestling don't always mean that much unless they are a part of an unchanging pattern.
Fandango's 2014, per TheHistoryofWWE.com, has seen him lose nine times on TV so far this year; he has not tasted victory since Feb. 17 against Santino Marella.
Winner: Big Show
Big Show continues to get portrayed as the favorite in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Roddy Piper watched his Piper's Pit segment fall apart when Titus O'Neil, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and other Battle Royal entrants all claimed they would be the one to win that 30-man match. Big Show dominated the fracas that broke out.
He chokeslammed both Ziggler and Zack Ryder before tossing Rey Mysterio out of the ring.
Piper then told Renee Young that Big Show is the closest thing to Andre the WWE has today and endorsed him without reservation.
That follows a brawl on the March 21 SmackDown where Big Show tossed out Sheamus, The Miz and others to be the last man standing on that night as well.
Loser: Bad News Barrett
It's hard to remember the last time Barrett wrestled on TV. He's instead been the bearer of bad news, standing behind a podium with a wicked grin across his mouth.
The latest thing WWE has asked him to do may be a precursor to him talking instead of fighting for the company on a permanent basis.
Barrett sat alongside Alex Riley and Booker T on the Raw pre-show panel. It's a gig that is certainly better for his body, but it's perplexing given what he can still offer in the ring.
Riley has moved to commentary and panel work and failed to make his way back to in-ring competition. Since Tensai became Jason Albert and traded in tights for a suit, he hasn't come back to competing, either.
Barrett's spot on the panel doesn't guarantee that he will follow the leads of the aforementioned wrestlers, but it's not a good sign for fans hoping he would start delivering elbows to foes' heads once more.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
He didn't appear until the final minutes of Monday's Raw, but Bryan was still the star of the show.
His surprise attack on Triple H brimmed with intensity. He punched a man who had spent much of the night and much of the last few months giving fans reasons to want to punch him.
Bryan chased his enemy around the ring, dove at him and forced him to retreat. Triple H's calling Bryan a fallacy earlier in the night only made the violence he suffered more enjoyable to watch.
The brawl gave fans a glimpse of how glorious it will be should Bryan win at WrestleMania XXX.
As much talk as there is about Triple H and WWE burying Bryan, he has continually been the focus of the year's biggest moments. Add his beatdown of the COO to breaking away from The Wyatt Family and hijacking Raw on the list of times Bryan's triumphs have been the lasting image of Raw.
He has to add to that collection at WrestleMania or else this whole story will have been a waste.
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