WWE Raw Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from July 24
The road to SummerSlam is officially underway, and the Raw brand wasted little time establishing itself as the top brand in sports entertainment, thanks to a phenomenal broadcast and several top stars who leaped off the screen, with their bookings strong and performances even better.
The drama surrounding Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose's reunion continued Monday as they partnered for the first time in three years to battle The Miz and The Miztourage. They emerged victoriously, but it was clear by the end of the broadcast that all was not rainbows and cupcakes with the former Shield teammates.
The women's division had a strong night on the back of another quality match between Sasha Banks and Bayley, strong storytelling and a brutal obliteration by Nia Jax.
The recipient of the beating by Jax, Emma, was one of two notable losers Monday night.
The other? Jason Jordan, whose push will depend heavily on one of his greatest weaknesses, which was on full display Monday night.
Winner: The Women's Division
Bayley and Sasha Banks did not wrestle their finest match Monday night, but it was still a competitive, dramatic bout that had fans guessing as to which beloved NXT export would emerge victoriously, a guaranteed shot at Alexa Bliss' Raw Women's Championship for the August 20 SummerSlam in her back pocket.
That woman was Bayley, who countered a pinfall attempt by Banks into one of her own and scored the pinfall.
The match and the outcome are only a small part of why the women's division as a whole was recognized as a winner Monday night.
The interaction between Bayley and Banks before and after the match, the mounting tension and the obvious heel turn waiting to shock the wrestling world all came together to create a compelling story with many chapters left to tell.
Bayley will head to SummerSlam to battle Bliss, but it is the dire straits Banks finds herself in, and the growing frustration that is visibly affecting her, that will fuel an overarching story and ultimately culminate in Banks returning to the dark side, where she was always most effective during her time in NXT.
Add to those three women a constantly growing and evolving Nia Jax and you have the foundation of a superb women's division. Now it's time for WWE Creative to put a little more effort on the rest of the women's roster to ensure the everyone has a role.
Loser: Jason Jordan
Jason Jordan's in-ring performance against Curt Hawkins was fine enough for what it was, but it was his pre-match promo that earned him "loser" status.
He was too "goody two-shoes" to the point that the audience began to boo him and chant "boring," and Jordan's complete lack of confidence and charisma on the mic will be the one thing that absolutely, unequivocally, holds him back from achieving success as a singles star in the WWE.
He has struggled with charisma dating back to his days in NXT. He has always had the athleticism and confidence between the ropes but has regularly come off as timid or shy with the camera in his face and mic in front of his mouth.
If he does not find that confidence away from the squared circle, his prospects on Raw are limited, to say the least.
Winners: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have been superb in recent weeks as WWE Creative teases the foundation of a Shield reunion.
Rollins is the eager party, all-too-ready to reunite with his former friend and rule the wrestling world as they had years earlier. The Lunatic Fringe has trust issues, though, and is not so willing to forgive and forget.
Monday night, The Kingslayer and his wild, unpredictable partner defeated The Miz, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel in a 2-on-3 Handicap Match that electrified the crowd. Clearly excited by the way they were able to pick up where they left off, Rollins went as far as to hug Ambrose.
Ambrose refused a fist bump, though, heading to the locker room and leaving Rollins' arm extended, his show of solidarity unreturned.
The dynamic between Rollins and Ambrose has made for some entertaining television. Both Superstars have a renewed sense of importance, and the cloud of uncertainty regarding their eventual reunion has left fans something to hang onto.
As SummerSlam approaches, it will be worth watching to see if Ambrose lets bygones be bygones or if he has reason to be so untrusting of Rollins.
A week ago, Emma sat in the backstage area, her frustration mounting over a lack of perceived opportunities.
She even took to Twitter to express said frustration.
Monday night, she confronted general manager Kurt Angle and bemoaned her lack of opportunity, going as far as to threaten dating Jason Jordan if it meant getting what she wanted. The authority figure's response? Booking her in a match with Nia Jax.
Emma was run over by Jax, who finished her off with a Flipping Senton.
There are some who will insist that this was the start of a running storyline for Emma, but too often, WWE Creative has smacked down talent that is too open about its frustration regarding a lack of television time, going as far as to humble them on television.
Look no further than Zack Ryder, who went and got himself over since the WWE would not and w subsequently obliterated by Kane before returning to the undercard.
Emma's appearance Monday night felt more like that and less like the beginning of some enthralling ride to greatness.