WWE Raw Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from January 1

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2018

WWE Raw Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from January 1

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The January 1 episode of Raw continued the brand's gradual march to Royal Rumble and brought the WWE Universe a special reunion.

    Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson's teaming up sparked the interest of the WWE Universe Monday night, injecting some life in the careers of all three Superstars. Their victory was a foregone conclusion, but the promise of more from the trio should create excitement about their futures with the brand.

    Goldust proved to be an ageless wonder, teaming with Cedric Alexander to defeat Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari in a match that showcased his energy and desire to perform.

    Samoa Joe did not have as great a night, losing to Roman Reigns in a match that was spectacular but also created questions about what awaits The Destroyer going forward.

Winners: Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

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    Over the last calendar year, no talents have been more underutilized on the Raw brand than Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. The new year brought an opportunity to revitalize their acts in a long-awaited reunion of the Bullet Club alumni.

    Monday night, the good brothers delivered their most energized performance in months as the trio defeated Elias, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel.

    Yes, the reunion of Balor, Gallows and Anderson is likely not a coincidence given the fact that New Japan Pro Wrestling is presenting its massive Wrestle Kingdom 12 show on Thursday and Bullet Club will be featured heavily on the event.

    It is likely a way to capitalize on the hype surrounding that faction and the fact that the three Balor, Gallows and Anderson were early members of it.

    Regardless, the performers appeared more motivated than in recent months. Hopefully, Monday was the beginning of a renegade trio seeking to wreak havoc on both heels and babyfaces in 2018.

Loser: Samoa Joe

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    Samoa Joe was rolling heading into the January 1 episode of Raw.

    His rivalry with Roman Reigns was gaining considerable momentum, and The Samoan Submission Machine was a favorite to dethrone The Big Dog as intercontinental champion. That is why his clean loss midway through Monday's program was so puzzling.

    Rather than building on Joe's momentum, he was beaten clean in the center of the ring, effectively ending the rivalry.

    There is nowhere else to go from here.

    Reigns was able to successfully retain his title within the rules, he avenged attack on Dean Ambrose by Joe, Cesaro and Sheamus and stood tall to close out the segment.

    Sure, the match was excellent, but Joe's direction in continuing his path of destruction on the Raw brand is a question WWE Creative will have to address.

Winner: Goldust

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    Goldust came to the aid of Cedric Alexander Monday night, joining the No. 1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship in a tag team match against Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari. 

    Perhaps the veteran competitor was inspired to prove he could keep up with the young, athletic and fast-paced Superstars, but the face-painted future Hall of Famer turned in an inspired performance that included a big double cross-body block from the top rope to both of his opponents.

    Alexander scored the win for his team, but it was Goldust who shined brightest and indirectly gave Alexander the rub ahead of his eventual title opportunity against Enzo Amore.

    With every passing year, it becomes more and more apparent that Goldust still has a lot to offer the WWE product thanks to his undeniable connection with the audience.