Pre-Show: Ren Narita def. Yuya Uemura
I'm familiar with Narita from the match he had Katsuyori Shibata at Wrestle Kingdom earlier this match, but I'm not as familiar with Uemura. This didn't last long at all, and on an hour-long pre-show, I don't think it would have hurt to give them a few more minutes. Since neither of them are big names, the crowd didn't really react to much of what they did, but I thought they made the most of their time and had and a well-wrestled match.
Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair def. Becky Lynch; Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY Returned
To no one's surprise, Belair and Lynch had another banger. I still say their WrestleMania match earlier this year was better, but this was an excellent opener, nonetheless. Belair retaining the title was the right call and Lynch turning face by embracing Belair in a hug afterward was a pleasant surprise. That's the perfect way to cap off their story. Then to top it off, the trio of Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY (the former Io Shirai) showed up and gave us an amazing SummerSlam moment. Not only is Bayley back after a year away due to injury, but Kai has been rehired and Sky decided to re-sign with the company. That's huge all around and I'm extremely excited for their stable as well as the immediate future of the Raw women's division.
Idolmania Sports Management (Jordan Clearwater and Cyon) def. The Now
The Now took part in the Crockett Cup earlier this year and I'm really happy they were brought back for the NWA as I've been following them on the northeast wrestling scene for about a decade now, so I hope this turns out to be more than a one-off for them. This was a well-wrestled match despite Idolmania Sports Management being such a waste of a stable. Clearwater has potential, but Tyrus drags down everyone involved.
Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor) def. Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh
I'm shocked we actually got televised entrances to kick off the show for a change. Usually they're so crammed for time that they start the show with the wrestlers already in the ring. This was the in-ring debut of Lethal, Dutt and Singh as a trio, and it made sense for Cassidy to pin Dutt for the win. It was weird that Dutt was positioned as a total underling in his street clothes instead of the decorated competitor he was in IMPACT, but oh well. This was enjoyable and set up Cassidy vs. Lethal one-on-one for Wednesday's Dynamite.