WWE Raw Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from March 16

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

With WrestleMania on the horizon, Seth Rollins remained the focal point of the March 16 episode of Monday night Raw, his feud with Randy Orton taking precedence and his presence felt in a number of in-ring and backstage segments.

While part-time Superstars such as Triple H, Sting, Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker are stealing headlines, Rollins remains both the top full-time heel and the centerpiece of WWE booking as his Money in the Bank cash-in looms.

Could Rollins lose to Orton come the Showcase of the Immortals, yet still get one over on everyone by leaving Santa Clara, California, with the most coveted prize in the industry?

Sure looks that way, if the booking of the man once known as the Architect of The Shield is any indication.

Which of Rollins' fellow WWE Superstars enjoyed a fruitful Monday night, just 13 days away from the biggest event the industry has to offer?

And which were the losers of the evening, those Superstars limping into the Granddaddy of Them All?

Take a look with this week's winners and losers from Raw.

Winners: Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar

The absence of Brock Lesnar has somewhat hurt the WrestleMania main event in that Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman have been left to make it up with promo work on Heyman's end and secondary feuds pitting Reigns against The Big Show, Kane and Mark Henry.

Monday night, things changed for the better as Lesnar cut a pre-taped promo like only he can. His brashness and cockiness shined through as he promised that, if he stayed with the company, he would be staying as WWE World Heavyweight champion.

Heyman followed up with another magnificent promo, asking the fans and powers that be what will happen when Lesnar disregards the rules and focuses solely on maiming Reigns, to which the No. 1 contender responded by vowing to defeat Lesnar, regardless.

At a time when Reigns' promo skills have been criticized by fans, he came through in crunch time Monday night, delivering one of his best efforts to date and doing so with great confidence.

A great way to put the spotlight on what is going to be the biggest match of the night come March 29. The revelation that the two powerhouses will share the ring on next week's show should make for some tremendous television.

Winners: The Divas

Just a few weeks after the #GiveDivasAChance movement took over Twitter, AJ Lee and Nikki Bella wrestled a match that received much more time than any Divas bout in recent memory, indicating that someone backstage took notice and has finally given the female talent the opportunity to showcase their skills in an expanded role.

Best of all, longer matches and increased television time allows the women to get their feud over to the point that, come WrestleMania, more people will care about it than they typically would.

It is a work in progress at this point, and one that will take time. While the Bella Twins vs. Paige and AJ Lee is unlikely to be a match anywhere near what the NXT Divas have done over the last year, it is the continued growth that they show in the longer matches that will one day allow them to have those show-stealing matches on the main roster.

Winner: Bad News Barrett

After weeks of being treated as a bumbling, stumbling buffoon unable to keep possession of the title that supposedly means so much to him, Barrett struck back against his WrestleMania opponents.

Sure, he was still pinned by Dean Ambrose, something that still hurts his reputation, but Barrett managed to make up for it by laying the babyfaces out with the Bull Hammer and regaining credibility, not to mention his championship, before posing on a ladder to end the segment devoted to the Intercontinental title on Monday's show.

Barrett still has the potential to be a truly special star, but WWE Creative has completely cut the legs off of the Bad News character that was so over on the heels of last year's WrestleMania. As a former bare-knuckle fighter, he should be laying his opponents out, much in the same way he did this week, not looking like a sad panda as he watched his title be abducted by one of the challengers in the Ladder match on March 29.

A great change of pace for a guy who was in desperate need of some momentum.

Loser: Erick Rowan

Poor Rowan continued to be the punching bag for WWE's midcard heels Monday night as he was decimated by Big Show prior to a scheduled match. And while that makes the sheep mask-wearing Superstar look week, it was a blessing for fans who wanted nothing to do with seeing the heavyweights battle again.

Rowan has lost so much momentum coming out of last November's Survivor Series that one must wonder if it would not behoove him to disappear from television and return repackaged and fresher than he is now, leaving fans to forget the disappointment he has become.

It is not that he has not worked hard. In fact, the Rowan we see now is significantly improved from the one who debuted with the Wyatt Family two years ago. 

But WWE Creative has destroyed him and his credibility by using him to put over a Big Show who is too old and beyond stale to benefit from it.

Winners: Sting and Randy Orton

The show-closing segment on this week's show was absolutely electric. It was everything fans come to expect from the road to WrestleMania, with a crowd that was on fire and storytelling that was both easy to follow and incredibly effective.

Sting's appearance drew the biggest pop of the night, and rightfully so. It was only the fourth time he showed up on television, and the rarity with which he has graced the WWE Universe with his presence has helped him retain that special aura that the character possesses.

The pairing with Randy Orton in his battle with The Authority feels very much like the WCW days, when Sting stood side by side with Lex Luger, sending messages to Hulk Hogan (in this case, Triple H) ahead of a huge money-making match.

Is the booking replicating the Sting-New World Order rivalry?

To an extent, but it worked so well then that there is no shame in repeating it, especially considering it has been almost two decades since the original angle.

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