WWE Raw Results: Biggest Winners, Losers and Moments from March 5
The Road to WrestleMania is a bumpy one for some Superstars but paved with opportunity for others, and Monday night on Raw, several high-profile competitors found out how rewarding and disappointing it can be.
Nia Jax was the night's biggest winner, a Superstar finding herself with every passing performance. Even in defeat, she earned respect and saw her star rise even higher than it was entering the broadcast.
Then there was The Bar, which reaffirmed its dominance in the Raw tag team division and reminded the audience why Sheamus and Cesaro are the most underappreciated team in wrestling.
Elias and Asuka were not quite as lucky.
The NXT alumni struggled, thanks primarily to booking decisions that were to their detriment rather than their favor.
Winners: The Bar
Is there any set of competitors in WWE more underappreciated and undervalued than The Bar?
Sheamus and Cesaro have been workhorses for the Raw brand for the better part of the last year, working fantastic matches against tag teams of all styles.
They have been as consistently great as any other performer in Vince McMahon's promotion and again proved their worth Monday night with a victory over The Revival in a hard-fought, hard-hitting match.
Withstanding the onslaught of the team many consider the best in the business, they scored a big win and will now roll into WrestleMania as the Raw tag team champions.
The only question confronting The Bar at this point is whether there is a tag team that can believably battle and defeat them for the titles. They have been presented as such an unstoppable force that it is difficult to buy into The Revival, Titus Worldwide or Rhyno and Heath Slater as a team legitimately capable of beating them.
Which begs the question: Does Raw have a team believable enough to beat Cesaro and Sheamus or will it have to dig into a bag of tricks and surprises to produce a pairing that can give them a run for their money come April 8?
Elias is one of the breakout stars of the last year, but he was beaten down and demolished Monday night by Braun Strowman in a Symphony of Destruction match, in which he was never truly presented as an equal to The Monster Among Men.
Yes, Elias has benefited from working with main event talent over the last three months or so, but he has yet to be booked in a manner that gives fans faith he is next in line for a substantial push. Continually losing his highest-profile matches does not help, nor does booking him like a coward or tackling dummy for Strowman.
Was Monday's match entertaining? Very much so.
Did it do anything to help Elias' credibility or further establish him as a main event attraction? Not even a little.
Now, Elias faces a march to WrestleMania without an obvious opponent or role on the most significant show of the WWE year.
Winner: Nia Jax
Anyone paying attention to the WWE product in recent months will have noticed a groundswell of support for Nia Jax building with every passing week. A great deal of that can be attributed to her booking, but she has seized her opportunities and delivered enthralling performances.
Monday night may have been her finest to date.
Not only did she handle Asuka for the second, consecutive match, she also earned sympathy for the manner in which she fought through the tremendous pain and punishment of the Japanese's cross armbreaker before finally giving in to the agony.
As she made her way to her feet, the WWE Universe applauded her, showing respect for her performance as Jax's character continued to evolve and grow before its very eyes.
The backstage interaction with Alexa Bliss later in the night, in which the Raw women's champion halfheartedly showed concern for her friend, planted the seeds for a showdown between the two as soon as WrestleMania.
In that scenario, Jax would almost certainly be the babyface, especially if her booking Monday is any indication.
Asuka survived a vicious onslaught from Nia Jax and won the match against The Irresistible Force, but one cannot help but feel The Empress of Tomorrow has been repeatedly and consistently overshadowed on her Road to WrestleMania, as if her Royal Rumble victory is an afterthought of sorts.
There is no ongoing storyline for Asuka, and everything in which she has participated in recent weeks feels like it was set up to get other Superstars and stories over.
That is not at all what you want for a competitor who won the most historic match in the division's history and is supposed to be the focal point of the build for WrestleMania.
Instead, she was utilized to put over Nia Jax without actually losing, creating more of a buzz for her opponent than herself.