Kane is back and The Shield could be in trouble.
That was the big news coming out of WWE Raw, but there was a lot packed into three hours. As usual, there were some big hits and some excruciating misses.
Let's take a look.
Biggest Hit: A Big Red Return
Look, nobody has been clamoring for a return from Kane, but he's got enough cred that his return certainly clicked with the crowd.
While it may have been predictable that Curtis Axel wasn't Miz's mystery "fifth man" to face The Shield, the replacement of Kane and his interference in the cage match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman to cement his involvement in the TLC main event was a good reveal.
The added benefit is making it feel like The Shield is in trouble heading into the pay-per-view. Logic says the long-awaited return of a dominant group means it cruises through initial challenges. But it's now Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins having to face off with Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Strowman, and Kane. That feels like the kind of insurmountable odds a once-dominant group of faces should be up against.
Biggest Miss: A New Nightmare
This stuff with Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor was already bad, has felt like it needed to end months ago, and certainly didn't need any more "big twists."
Bray in face paint with some voice modulation to "become" Sister Abigail? Balor's promo being cut into over and over by a Halloween-themed "Demon?"
It's all just so cringeworthy.
And now, the Demon that they had protected and refused to use outside of the biggest occasions will be busted out for a second time in a feud with Bray Wyatt? It's such a big setback for Balor, who debuted feeling like the biggest deal around and now feels like just another guy getting sucked into the gimmicky nonsense of a Wyatt feud.
Was WWE's takeaway from all the ring projection stuff with Wyatt and Orton really to try and keep going that direction?
Quick Hits & Misses
Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox just manage to work. Foxy can be very, very cringeworthy when she speaks, but it's part of her charm. These two have a weird chemistry in which they went from having one of the worst matches of the year to a fun, even while sloppy, running feud.
I just don't care about Mickie James challenging Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship. It doesn't feel like James has a realistic shot and the story of "she's old" vs. "look at her body" feels dated in a show that managed to find space for three significant women's storylines.
Enzo Amore hiring help is a good turn for his character. It still feels a little schizophrenic to have him doing his fan-friendly shtick and the crowd wanting to participate but then having him keep spinning the heel stuff. But surrounding him with unlikeable elements from 205 helps cement who he is supposed to be. I'm still not wild about Enzo winning the title back at TLC, but they seem to think they hit on THE character to shift things to the next level.