Raw Tag Team Champions AJ Styles and Omos def. The New Day
Styles and Omos hadn't been seen since winning the tag titles on Night 1 of WrestleMania 37. Styles attempted to explain their absence beforehand by saying that they've been busy partying for the past month. It's about time they returned, regardless of the reason as to why they were gone for so long. This was a perfectly solid match and Omos continues to be wisely protected and kept limited. He's looked good whenever he's been in the ring, so there's that. This should mark the end of the feud now that Styles and Omos have decisively defeated New Day twice now.
Charlotte Flair def. Dana Brooke; Sonya Deville Added Flair to the Raw Women's Championship Match at WrestleMania Backlash
Flair beat Mandy Rose last week, so it was logical for her to beat Rose's partner and Flair's former protégé this week (you know, back when Brooke was still somewhat relevant). The match wasn't anything out of the ordinary whatsoever, but at least it didn't overstay its welcome. Post-match, we found out from Deville that Flair will (predictably) be added to the Raw Women's Championship match at the pay-per-view with Rhea Ripley and Asuka. You had to know that was coming, but it was still frustrating. Deville's tension with Adam Pearce makes zero sense when you consider that Pearce could overrule her decisions at any time.
Damian Priest def. John Morrison
Much like the opener, this was a prime example of a match that didn't need to be preceded by a promo. I'm all for talent getting time to talk, but the pre-match promos from The Miz and Morrison accomplished nothing. I honestly can't believe this feud is still going, but here's hoping Priest beating Morrison clean one-on-one means we can finally move on. It will be interesting to see if the underlying tension teased between Miz and Morrison beforehand will lead anywhere.
The Lucha House Party def. Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander
The fact this match was joined in progress tells you all you need to know about how WWE views these four. I realize the Raw Tag Team Champions are heels and they need credible challengers, but I don't see Lucha House Party being built up for anything other than a quick loss to them one of these weeks. This was a nice little match, but this was more about cementing the split between Benjamin and Alexander with Alexander cutting a scathing promo on Benjamin afterward. Benjamin's promo backstage was also excellent, but I don't have any faith that it will go anywhere. Remind me, what was the point of breaking up The Hurt Business again?
Angel Garza def. Drew Gulak
Outside of a few matches against Priest on Raw this year, Garza has largely been relegated to Main Event since his stable with Andrade and Zelina Vega broke up in the fall. He's been involved in a few segments with Nia Jax as well, but that wasn't mentioned on this show and I hope it's been dropped. I don't know why the hell he kicked Gulak in the ass afterward to crush the rose he put in his trunks, but the match at least allowed Garza to get back on track. He's too talented to be underutilized and this was a nice step in the right direction.
Randy Orton and Riddle def. Elias and Jaxson Ryker
This match was set up earlier in the evening when Elias and Ryker accidentally threw tomatoes at Orton backstage. You can't make this shit up. With the Raw tag team division as depleted as it is, I'm honestly all for Riddle and Orton sticking together for the time being. Their characters are such polar opposites that their chemistry is terrific, and if nothing else, it's something different for a top talent like Orton to do. This was another entertaining outing from them and I appreciated that the match didn't last longer than it needed to.
United States Champion Sheamus def. Mansoor by Disqualification (Non-Title)
I'm glad Sheamus was actually in action this week and WWE didn't run the same angle with him and Humberto Carrillo three weeks in a row. Granted, we got the obligatory brawl between them afterward, but it was once again well done and effectively furthered their feud. Mansoor vs. Sheamus was fine for what it was, though Mansoor selling Sheamus' offense was the real highlight. Mansoor was shown signing his new Raw contract earlier in the show and it's about damn time. I mean, the dude has gone unbeaten one-on-one for two years. From a storyline standpoint, why hadn't he been brought up to Raw sooner? I hope he remains in the United States Championship hunt as well because he's also very good.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler def. Lana and Naomi
Natalya and Tamina pinned the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions in non-title action on Friday's SmackDown, so in typical WWE fashion, Lana and Naomi got a title shot on this show despite doing nothing to deserve it. Try explaining that one. The women's tag team scene is such a mess that it was honestly hard to care. I like Naomi, but she and Lana have no business being a team. Thankfully, this was kept short and relatively sweet.
WWE Champion Bobby Lashley def. Braun Strowman (Non-Title)
Lashley was advertised as facing either Strowman or Drew McIntyre on this show, so I was happy they went with Strowman because Lashley vs. McIntyre needed to be announced in advance (and it was as this episode went off the air for next week). These two have traditionally worked well together in the past and this was another quality contest from them. Personally, I enjoyed their exciting sprint the night after Elimination Chamber more than this, but it wasn't bad or boring, either. I fully expected a non-finish to protect Strowman in defeat, but other than interference from McIntyre at ringside, he won clean by pinfall. WWE keeping Lashley looking strong has been refreshing to see.
There was also a vignette promoting the return of Eva Marie to Raw. It's hard to imagine the women's division getting much worse with how they've been presented in recent months, so it's oddly fitting that she's on her way back. Ugh. On the bright side, Raw was marginally better this week than it's been since WrestleMania. Mansoor making his debut was cool, there was some decent hype for Backlash, and certain things seem to be moving along, which is encouraging to an extent. The three hours are still tough to get through, but any progress is a positive.