With the WWE champion hurting, The Shield, Cesaro and Alicia Fox thrived in his absence.
The Shield's predatory ways made for compelling TV. Cesaro met a fellow European bruiser, and the result was violent artistry. Fox, who has long been one of the many Divas lost in the background, made herself stand out with a pair of tantrums that would make Alec Baldwin shake his head.
NXT's main event was also among the moments from the week that inspired applause.
Daniel Bryan's bad news felt like a punch to the gut for WWE fans. News of WWE's stock performing poorly had the same effect on investors.
One has to hope that those items don't lead to worse or more long-term issues. The worrying types may be locked in on thoughts of surgery and financial free-fall, but the week also offered plenty of action to distract from those situations.