For Randy Orton and Cesaro, the July 28 edition of WWE Raw proved that a fitting role is a victory in itself.
Orton and Cesaro spent Monday's Raw thriving as a sadist and a mat technician, respectively. Those parts suited both men, and each came through with a memorable performance.
Paige, on the other hand, found herself floundering in an ill-suited role. Her frenemy storyline isn't showcasing her abilities yet.
The night also featured a self-assured star's string of consecutive wins end, and a recently unemployed Diva not only make her way back onto the roster but into a major match at SummerSlam.
Cesaro failed to defeat John Cena but continues to hover around WWE's center stage.
Cena opened Monday's Raw talking up his upcoming title bout with Brock Lesnar. He spoke about how his heart would overcome Lesnar's power. The company chose The King of Swing as the man to interrupt this speech.
After acknowledging that he and Paul Heyman were still on good terms, Cesaro cracked some jokes at Cena's expense.
He then took on the WWE champ in an impromptu bout. This was certainly designed to give Cena momentum heading into SummerSlam, but it was no one-sided victory. Cena had to resort to reaching deep into his toolbox to take out the Swiss strongman.
Cena turned to unfamiliar moves like the powerbomb. It took an Attitude Adjustment from the top rope to keep Cesaro down for a three-count.
The match offered Cesaro a chance to have a high-profile bout on the show and prove that he's in the world champ's league. There has to be a long list of his peers that looked on in envy as Cesaro pushed Cena to his proverbial limits.
Loser: Bo Dallas
Dallas' undefeated streak is over. The undramatic way that it ended suggests that WWE is not as high on him as it was when he was first doing victory laps.
R-Truth beat him in a matter of seconds.
The choice of who first bested Dallas is curious. R-Truth resides on the lower part of the card, a filler talent who loses more often than he wins. Dallas even mentioned that before their bout began.
Losing to him lets the air out of Dallas' momentum.
The ease in which the defeat came about undermines what Dallas had built up before that. He was just starting to come off as a threat after taking out wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. The fact that WWE chose to end his streak so casually is a bad sign.
Rather than continue to take out increasingly challenging opponents, he's now likely to remain adhered to WWE's lower rungs.
Winner: Brie Bella
Brie is set to be a part of one of SummerSlam's biggest matches.
On Monday's Raw, she told Stephanie McMahon that she would drop the battery charges against her should she meet her demands. The first of those was that WWE rehire her. The second assured Brie revenge over the woman who has been torturing her, her sister and her husband for months.
Brie wanted to battle McMahon at the upcoming pay-per-view, and after some tears, hesitation and threats, she agreed.
That puts Brie in a position every Diva on the roster has to be jealous of. Paige, AJ Lee, Naomi and Cameron all have feuds keeping them in the spotlight, but not like this.
The confrontation between Brie and McMahon was the centerpiece of the show. It was the night's final segment and followed up on a wealth of buildup.
WWE is giving Brie a fantastic shot to be a major part of SummerSlam as one of its key stars. One has to wonder, though, if she and McMahon can live up to all this hype.
In her current fake-friend persona, Paige is the power forward asked to play point guard. It's an awkward fit that doesn't make use of her strengths.
She looked to explain her actions on last week's Raw. She told the Houston crowd that even though she attacked AJ then, she was still her friend. It was just a momentary lapse in controlling her own emotions, she explained.
The Divas champ soon confronted her, and the tension that should have existed between them flickered rather than shone.
Paige wasn't the same captivating presence she was at NXT. She seemed unsure of herself throughout the segment. When she begged AJ to believe her that she was telling the truth or when she said that they were supposed to still be friends, it didn't feel natural.
She needs to soon slip back into her ideal role of hell-raiser. This feud can lead her there.
WWE would be wise to have this story be Paige's path to becoming an enraged, howling beast once more.
Winner: Randy Orton
The last year has seen Orton become Triple H's lackey on several occasions. The focus has been more on the COO's tyranny than on what Orton is capable of.
Every so often, though, the vicious predator he plays best emerges. That's what happened on Monday's Raw.
Triple H told The Viper that he wouldn't receive any future shots at the WWE title until he could topple Roman Reigns.
Like Dean Ambrose is to Seth Rollins, Reigns has been a constant hindrance to Orton. That inspired Orton to prevent the Kane vs. Reigns match set for Monday's Raw from even happening, ambushing his enemy in the crowd. Kane delivered a chokeslam in the middle of the mauling, but this was Orton's handiwork, his violent masterpiece.
He barked at Reigns that no one steals from him.
Using the ring steps, the security barricade and his fists, Orton left the powerhouse helpless. The beating served to remind fans of his destructive capabilities and get them to hate him even more. It also helped make the inevitable Orton vs. Reigns SummerSlam clash one charged with crackling energy.
A pair of RKOs destroyed the announce table, leaving Reigns unmoving on a mess of wires and wood. That was among the night's most powerful images, one that strengthens both Orton's resume and his feud with Reigns.
It would not have come had WWE asked Orton to play the whiny goon that he's been portraying as of late.
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