Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair def. WWE Women's Tag Team Champions IYO SKY (Non-Title)
This was a rematch of SKY's in-ring debut on Raw two days after SummerSlam. This one had a clean finish, which is fine because another non-finish would have been lame. That said, SKY losing three days after Dakota Kai lost to Raquel Rodriguez in under two minutes on SmackDown doesn't exactly make Damage CTRL look strong. That said, Belair vs. SKY was as well-wrestled as you'd expect. Belair's verbal exchange with Bayley beforehand was also good and set up a Ladder match between the two for Extreme Rules.
Seth "Freakin" Rollins def. Rey Mysterio
Obviously, this was a rivalry renewed from 2020, and I appreciated all the nods to their "Eye for an Eye" match at Extreme Rules that year (as awful as that whole storyline was). Without the shenanigans, they always work well together and this was no exception. I could've done without the outside interference from The Judgment Day, but I understand it was meant to further the feud between the Mysterios and it was an entertaining outing to boot.
Johnny Gargano and Kevin Owens def. Alpha Academy
I'm not super familiar with the history that Gargano and Owens have, but I do know they called themselves "Panda Express" once upon a time and it was amazing how the commentators acknowledged all of that during this match. They have terrific chemistry as partners and had a high-energy contest with Alpha Academy. The crowd was super behind the babyfaces and specifically Owens because he's Canadian, so that helped as well. We found out later on that Gargano will face Otis next week on Raw while Gable takes on Braun Strowman.
Omos def. Local Athletes in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Omos isn't featured on Raw regularly anymore, but he will pop up every few weeks for a standard squash match like this one and will remind viewers he's still employed. If he's not going to be doing anything of note, why waste television time on him at all? There are several people on the Raw roster I'd rather see the time dedicated to, personally. On commentary, MVP did compare Omos to Braun Strowman, so that might be a match we see soon (despite sounding like a total train wreck).
Candice LeRae def. Nikki A.S.H.
Well, this came completely out of nowhere, and that's what I loved about it. Triple H and company are doing an effective job of making the shows feel must-see by sending the message that anything can happen at any time. Better yet, it was not reported about whatsoever beforehand, at least not to my knowledge. Granted, we figured she'd be back eventually, but we didn't know exactly when. This was a nice return for LeRae, who has long deserved a run on the main roster. As for Nikki A.S.H., we can please finally move forward from the superhero crap?
Sami Zayn def. AJ Styles
Styles and Zayn haven't had many matches over the years, so this felt fresh. As far as why Zayn and Solo Sikoa are able to appear on Raw despite being SmackDown Superstars, I can't bother to get upset at this point. The Brand Split is dead, folks, let's face it (though I continue to wish they would make it official). Nonetheless, this was a wonderful match from these two as expected. We got yet another interference finish with Sikoa aiding Zayn to victory, but at least this strengthened the relationship between Zayn and Sikoa and told the story that Styles needs The Judgment Day (who attacked him afterward) after all.
Matt Riddle def. Damian Priest
This was the first time ever these two have gone one-on-one on the main roster. The only other they've faced off on WWE TV was when Priest debuted as Punishment Martinez on NXT in December 2018 and lost to Riddle. This was another above-average affair with enjoyable action and a fun pace. There was Judgment Day interference early on, but thankfully not toward the end. Post-match, Edge returned (after only being gone for two weeks) and received a monster ovation from the Canadian crowd. He then challenged Balor to an "I Quit" match at Extreme Rules. I'm a big proponent of every advertised match for the event so far having a stipulation as that was the whole purpose of the pay-per-view when it started over a decade ago, and this installment has a hell of a lineup on paper.
Despite the disappointing crowd in Canada, this was a strong show and one of the Raw's best in several weeks. Five matches were advertised in advance and all of them ranged from good to great. There were also more "White Rabbit" teases if you paid attention, which were also intriguing. All signs point to it being Bray Wyatt and that eventual return is going to be awesome. We even got more build for Extreme Rules next weekend with two more matches/stipulations announced, making this a very successful show on the whole and an excellent three hours.