Cody Rhodes def. NXT North American Champion "Dirty" Domink Mysterio (Non-Title); Rhodes Discussed Jey Uso with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
Rhodes vs. Mysterio was surprisingly quick. I didn't expect an instant classic, but I thought it would at least go as long as their match at Money in the Bank did. Instead, it went all of two or three minutes. Way to make the NXT North American Champion look strong heading into next week's title defense on Raw against Dragon Lee. The subsequent segment with Rhodes, Owens and Zayn did a nice job of furthering the Jey Uso angle and Owens stressing that he doesn't think he can be trusted. Rhodes explained that he thought Jey deserved a second chance and that was why he brought him to Raw, so it's not a case of Rhodes getting himself traded to SmackDown in return (though it's possible that's still to come).
Kofi Kingston def. Ivar
The New Day vs. The Viking Raiders in a two-out-of-three falls match was originally advertised for this show, but apparently Erik wasn't medically cleared and thus it turned into a singles match instead. I'm amazed this got so much more time than Rhodes vs. Mysterio because it was fairly inconsequential with nothing at stake, but to their credit, they maximized their minutes and had a great matchup. Ivar in particular was impressive. This has to be the longest singles match he's ever had in WWE, right?
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Ricochet by Disqualification
Nakamura and Ricochet have had a handful of matches against each other in recent months and always work well together, so it was surprising that the crowd was quiet as they were for this. It's not like Nakamura and Ricochet aren't over in their current roles. It was a quality contest up until the silly non-finish. Nakamura should've won clean since their last encounter also ended in a disqualification. The stuff with Seth Rollins beforehand and afterward was well done as they continue to build toward his rematch with Nakamura.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven def. Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark
This confirmed that Stark and Baszler will be tag team partners going forward, which is a bummer. Hey, it gets them on Raw regularly I suppose, but both women should be doing more after severing ties with Trish Stratus and Ronda Rousey, respectively. The tepid crowd reaction to this match is all the evidence you need that fans do not care about the women's tag team division. It was decent, but the heel vs. heel dynamic did not help. Nia Jax interfering and attacking everyone was even worse. Did WWE want the crowd to cheer or boo?
Bronson Reed def. Chad Gable
It would have been easy for WWE to have Gable win here as he heads toward another opportunity at the Intercontinental Championship (eventually), but I'm glad Reed went over instead. Reed needed the win a lot more than Gable did, and it tells the story that Gable will have to work his way back to title contention. This wasn't long enough to be what it could have been, but it was a nice match while it lasted.
NXT Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Natalya
This was an open challenge from Lynch. She said beforehand that she wanted someone newer to accept, so Natalya of all people being the one to step up defeated the purpose. They had a basic television match, but it remains difficult to care about anything involving Natalya at this point. This could have happened on any average Raw without the title on the line. Reportedly, this spot was originally meant for Tegan Nox and it's a shame Lynch's opponent was changed to Natalya. Nox would have benefited much more in my opinion.
Tommaso Ciampa def. Giovanni Vinci
If it wasn't already obvious, Ciampa is next in line for a shot at the Intercontinental Championship, so it was logical for him to beat Vinci, Imperium's designated punching bag, before he faces Gunther. I couldn't tell you the last match Vinci actually won, specifically in singles competition. I imagine his time in Imperium is coming to an end sooner rather than later. This was another fun little sprint but shorter than it should have been considering what both guys are capable of.
Drew McIntyre def. Jey Uso
Jey being the focal point of Raw since Payback and McIntyre's slow-burning heel turn has been the best part of the show by a wide margin. They had a very good main event with Judgment Day's interference costing Jey in the end. McIntyre not saving Jey from Judgment Day afterward was an interesting development and gets him one step closer to that full-blown heel turn. Rhodes making the save instead means we're also getting closer to a McIntyre vs. Rhodes rivalry that I'm looking forward to.
If you don't care about the Jey Uso angle, you probably don't care about Raw right now. Personally, I'm invested and I'm digging what they're doing from week to week with everyone involved. It was a solid show on the whole, though it definitely lacked energy in the second half and the Utah crowd was dead for a majority of the night. I appreciated that there was minimal filler and I largely enjoy Raw most weeks, but WWE definitely needs to do more to prevent the three hours from dragging as often as they do.