Instead of the Universal Championship driving the Monday night locomotive, it looks like the Intercontinental Championship will be the main event belt. Instead of Braun Strowman getting fed jobbers, he's feasting on future Hall of Famers. Instead of literally anything else closing the show, Enzo Amore and 205 Live ended RAW.
Weird, but refreshingly so.
Essentially, WWE will be hosting tryouts for the rest of 2017 to see who can rise in the absence of icons like Cena and Lesnar. One of Cena's finest quotes in his spats with Roman Reigns was this "In WWE you either step up or step aside." Let's hope we get plenty of the former.
So with all of that said, what did WWE teach us last night? Who is being positioned to thrive in the is a wide-open version on Monday Night RAW? Here they are; The 5 Things We Learned From RAW Last Night
Braun Goes to Rehab
It was only a few days ago where Braun Strowman was the imminent ruler of WWE. After he beat Brock Lesnar at No Mercy, he would never relinquish the Universal Championship. Ever.
But that's not what happened.
Instead, the hottest act WWE has seen in years was finished after one F-5 from Brock Lesnar. This damaged Braun's unprecedented momentum, but it's hardly permanent. To make sure we forget about his poor booking, WWE will have him destroy people for the rest of 2017.
Alexa Meets Her Match
At first, a Mickie James and Alexa Bliss sounds uninteresting. But we'd be wrong for thinking that.
Alexa Bliss is the best talker in the women's division, possibly ever. Her mic skills are so good, that WWE actually had to stop using them. Earlier this year, Bliss' potent ability to cut down her opponents almost ended Bayley's career. Ever since, WWE has yet to unleash her in a dueling promo.
Perhaps WWE was fearful that Bliss' forte would expose Sasha Banks, Nia Jax or any other young Superstar worth protecting, so they kept them away from Bliss' jaws. But for a veteran like Mickie James, WWE is OK if Bliss publicly disembowels her. But the 6-time Women's Champion came ready to play.
For the first time in her career, Alexa Bliss was challenged on the microphone. This is a good thing. In what could have been an easy feud to ignore just caught the attention of the WWE Universe. Here's to more of whatever last night was.
The Shield is Summoned
The Shield is coming back.
Instead of saving The Hounds of Justice for a transcendental feud against one of the great WWE factions, The Shield's emergency glass is being broken for The Miztourage.
I can guarantee you that this was a fantasy of no one.
However, that doesn't mean it won't still be good. Outside of-of Ambrose and Rollins getting back together WWE has oddly booked the Shield post-breakup. Remember when we got the Shield Triple Threat match at an off pay-per-view?
Picking the Miztourgae as the vehicle that gets the gang back to together is questionable, but hey, WWE needs ratings,
Enzo Amore's self-indulgent party and the subsequent riot by the 205 Live cast was one of the best segments of 2017. In their first ever main event opportunity, the Cruiserweights were tremendous.
Enzo Amore is just as compelling ad he is hateable. I want to dislike him, I really do, but he's too good at his job to not appreciate. For Neville, it's less ambiguous - he's fantastic. For my money, Neville is at least a candidate for MVP of WWE in 2017.
205 Live will have more people watching it than ever tonight. Most of this is due to Enzo Amore. However, the rest of the division has done a great job in playing the role of the angry mob. This is good stuff.
Finn Balor's Universe?
Before his match with a suddenly spiteful Goldust, Finn Balor gave a brief backstage interview where he mentioned his driving ambition: The Universal Championship.
Some people say that in life, everything happens for a reason. That may or may not be true in real-world application but it is unconditionally true in WWE. Every sentence, facial expression, and the reaction was crafted by WWE before it happened. Finn Balor saying he wants to be Universal Champion was not him just blurting out something random - he will be the next number one contender for the Universal Championship.