Beat the Clock Challenge
The Beat the Clock Challenge is one of those special gimmicks that WWE turns to when it is looking for a cheap, not-so-creative way to determine a No. 1 contender.
Monday night, Big E, Ryback, Rob Van Dam, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Henry competed in matches to decide who would challenge Bad News Barrett at Payback for the Intercontinental Championship.
Big E and Ryback's match was slow and plodding but not necessarily bad. Dolph Ziggler's match with Mark Henry was fairly bad but told a solid, understandable story.
Which brings us to RVD vs. Del Rio, which was an uncharacteristically bad match between above-average workers.
If all three matches were lackluster, why does the the Beat the Clock Challenge land in the "good" section of this week's article?
Because the company took a gimmick it typically reserves for main event feuds and used it to help lend legitimacy to the Intercontinental Championship, which it appears as though WWE is trying to rehabilitate.
Bad News Barrett's attack of Rob Van Dam later in the evening's broadcast helped add heat to their upcoming match, and his promo sent the British fans home happy.
The Exotic Express
Adam Rose earned his greatest fan response Monday night, as the fans in London were overwhelmingly in favor of the character.
The segment that followed Rose's introduction was fairly bad, with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter relying too heavily on the same tired immigration talk that they have been for years.
Regardless of the overall quality of the segment, Rose finally looked like a star thanks to his treatment by the fans. He was received like a big deal, something that will hopefully dictate to audiences how they should respond to him going forward.
The long-term future of the character may depend on it.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Both the United States champion and what looks to be his top contender are capable of matches better than what they had Monday during Raw.
It was somewhat disjointed but picked up significantly by its end. The interference from Paul Heyman helped his newest client to victory while Sheamus, humble in defeat, offered his hand to the winner. Cesaro refused it, setting up a match between The King of Swing and the Celtic Warrior, perhaps as soon as Payback.
With stars the caliber of Sheamus and Cesaro, the U.S. title has been elevated in importance, not unlike the company is attempting to do with the Intercontinental Championship.