WWE Raw Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from February 12
The February 12 episode of WWE Raw continued the march toward Elimination Chamber on February 25, and it did a fantastic job of hyping the pay-per-view extravaganza, thanks to some stellar performances from individual stars.
Seth Rollins stole the show, cutting an impassioned promo and delivering a stellar performance in the night's main event, all seemingly to re-establish himself as an elite talent on the Road to WrestleMania.
Apollo Crews sought to capture the attention of both the WWE Universe as well as WWE Creative as he tore the house down in the same main event, his agility and strength on display as he came seconds from earning a shot in the Elimination Chamber on several occasions.
Then there was Nia Jax, whose growth and development as a character continues to engage the audience and earn its respect.
Not everyone was quite as lucky.
Veterans Kurt Angle and Matt Hardy had rough nights, thanks to creative plans for their characters.
Delve deeper into those Superstars' performances and relive their contributions to the red brand with this recap of the broadcast.
Winner: Nia Jax
Nia Jax sent a message to every woman in the Elimination Chamber match on February 25, not to mention her opponent at that pay-per-view, Asuka, when she exploded into the ring and wiped out both Sasha Banks and Bayley following their match.
Jax proceeded to cut a solid promo afterward in which she vowed to become the first woman to defeat Asuka, but it was the crowd's reaction to her that earned her "winner" status this week.
The fans continue to buy into Jax as the irresistible force, and it shows with every passing week. The reaction for her dominant performances and no-nonsense attitude has grown exponentially. Like Braun Strowman, Jax has gotten over by kicking ass and taking names, proof positive that fans want to see that type of competitor in today's WWE.
She may not beat The Empress of Tomorrow come Elimination Chamber, but she will be a major player in the women's division for the foreseeable future.
Especially if she can continue building a fanbase.
Loser: Kurt Angle
Yes, it made sense that Kurt Angle would go into fatherly mode and chastise the WWE Universe for cheering his son Jason Jordan's neck injury, but that does not make it the right creative decision.
As Angle told the fans in San Jose they should be ashamed of themselves for cheering Jordan's misfortune, the viewing audience never once got the impression that he meant it.
There was a lack of conviction, a lack of passion behind his words. It came across as forced rather than real, and the result was a halfhearted moment in time in which management tried to generate sympathy for Jordan.
Perhaps that has to do with the fact that Angle himself had missed out on numerous pay-per-views and matches due to injury. Maybe the grizzled veteran of WWE's Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras recognized the crowd was simply not buying into the character, and thus, he was not as invested in his own performance.
Whatever the case, it came off as awkward and unconvincing.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins interrupted Kurt Angle Monday night and relived his own personal journey from WWE champion to the sidelines, forced to watch WrestleMania 32 from a skybox due to injury. He voiced his determination to get back to the forefront of Raw, to make the show Monday Night Rollins again and to be the champion once more.
It was a passionate promo, one that reinvigorated Rollins' babyface character and gave it purpose for the first time since he defeated Triple H at last year's Showcase of the Immortals.
Later, in the night's Fatal 5-Way main event, he and Finn Balor pinned Bray Wyatt at the same time, both earning a trip to the Elimination Chamber match and a shot at headlining WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar.
His tag team with Jason Jordan and their program scrapped due to injury, he found himself back at the top of the card, ready to prove to the world why he is a two-time WWE champion and the Superstar once hand-picked by Triple H to be the future of WWE.
Loser: Woken Matt Hardy
Woken Matt Hardy is a character that should be mystifying and captivating fans.
Instead, he already feels like an also-ran—just another midcarder in a field of them with no real hope of a main event run regardless of how many fans chant "DELETE" as he enters the arena.
That was on display Monday as he was one of five men competing for the right to fill the final spot in the Elimination Chamber match.
Despite an ongoing program with Bray Wyatt, Hardy was the least visible Superstar in the match. He was there, he did the things he does very well, but he was never truly allowed to shine in the same way someone like Rollins, Balor and even Crews was.
Instead, he suffered Sister Abigail's Kiss on the arena floor and was laid out through the finish, the only Superstar not directly involved in it.
The Woken character is one that will sell merchandise and elicit chants from fans, but it has to be bigger and better than it is now or it is destined for failure.
Winner: Apollo Crews
For the third week in a row, Apollo Crews seized the spotlight given to him and wowed the audience, throwing his 240-pound frame around the ring like a cruiserweight and nearly scoring the upset in the Fatal 5-Way main event more than once.
His speed and agility, combined with his undeniable power, has always been a trademark of Crews' performances, but he has brought a greater sense of urgency to his recent performances. It is as if he is daring management to push him.
More energetic and intense than ever before, he now looks like a Superstar ready for bigger and better things.
Even his promo earlier in the night was vastly improved from the deer-in-headlights nature of his early mic appearances. Maybe that can be attributed to his pairing with Titus O'Neil and Dana Brooke. Maybe he has found his confidence. Whatever the case may be, Crews looks poised for a breakout year in 2018 based on his early performances thus far.