Akira Tozawa def. The Brian Kendrick
Tozawa and Kendrick have plenty of history from the first half of 2017 and they rekindled their rivalry here after Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher crashed Tozawa vs. Colin Delaney last week before it could begin. This was a good match, but the crowd had zero reason to get invested in the action because it wasn't anything above average. If nothing else, Tozawa scored a meaningful victory for a change.
Hideo Itami vs. Michael Blaise Ended in a No Contest
I have no doubt that the jobber Itami faced here was given the name he was because he strongly resembled Michael P.S. Hayes, and WWE loves to take shots at their own employees by naming local athletes after them. At any rate, this was effective in getting more heat on Itami and establishing him as a ruthless badass. That led nicely into the return of Mustafa Ali, who has been out injured for weeks thanks to Itami. They'll settle their score soon enough.
King Booker Celebrated with SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day
You had to know New Day would go all out following their SmackDown Tag Team Championship victory on last week's show, but Booker T showing up was a totally unexpected and a cool surprise. It was fitting, too, since New Day are now five-time tag team champs and Booker is, of course, known for referring to himself as a five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. This was a ton of fun and definitely a different way of kicking off the show than usual, which is what I appreciated most about it.
The Bar def. The Colons and Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to Advance in the SmackDown TaG Team Championship Tournament
Man, SmackDown really does like their tag team tournaments, eh? In all seriousness, I will say that it is a nice way of establishing new No. 1 contenders to the championship without just giving a random team a title shot. This was a well-wrestled, enjoyable match on the whole even if the outcome was never once in doubt. I honestly forgot The Colons were still on the roster before they resurfaced here (I believe they hadn't wrestled a televised matchup together since June 2017).
No Way Jose def. Tyler Breeze
Both guys are babyfaces, so it was a weird dynamic and thus the crowd didn't really know who to cheer for here, but I appreciated that it was a fresh match and not a rehash of Jose vs. Curt Hawkins for the umpteenth time. They put together a nice little bout, but Breeze is so much better than this. I can't say I'm surprised the guy is still relegated to enhancement talent status even though his tag team partner Fandango is out injured for the time being, but it would be cool if the company actually gave him a chance to shine against a guy like Seth Rollins one of these days and let him take Rollins to his limit.
Ruby Riott def. Ember Moon
This was an interesting case where these two have actually been feuding on the main roster lately and their storyline was furthered on Main Event, which rarely ever happens. In fact, Moon has been at odds with The Riott Squad long before Riott returned to the ring from injury. They have history from NXT as well, so they have that established chemistry and worked well together here. It was an enjoyable affair, and while I could have done without all the interference from Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan at ringside, it protected Moon in defeat and gave Riott a notable victory (Moon has lost only one other singles match since arriving on Raw).
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre Interrupted Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman
He's only eight days into his Universal Championship reign and Reigns already feels more like a fighting champion than Brock Lesnar ever did. I don't think he will ever be universally cheered by the audience, but WWE is doing the right things with him right now, especially with The Shield reuniting. I appreciated him acknowledging that here and Strowman deciding to wait until Hell in a Cell to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Ziggler and McIntyre did fine with their promos as well, setting up the main event tag team match nicely.
Baron Corbin def. Finn Balor in a No Disqualification Match
I had hope that Balor bringing back his Demon persona and decisively defeating Corbin at SummerSlam would put their pointless program to rest, but apparently it's not over yet due to Corbin being a full-fledged authority figure and having the ability to restart matches. He and Balor had a decent bout before Corbin intentionally got himself disqualified so he could restart it as a No Disqualification matchup and win with ease. Does this mean more matches between them? Ugh.
Moose Saved Eddie Edwards From Impact World Champion Austin Aries and Killer Kross
The progression of Edwards' unhinged character has been well done so far, but it made sense for him to get some backup now that Aries has Cross in his corner. Moose hasn't been seen since Slammiversary last month, so it was logical for him to return to aid his established best friend and exact some revenge against Aries. After the eventual tag team match, expect Edwards to turn on Moose eventually because he's jealous of Alisha warming up to Moose the same way he did to Tommy Dreamer.
Matt Sydal def. Zachary Wentz
Sydal has been in a bit of a funk since losing the Impact X-Division Championship to Brian Cage at Slammiversary last month, but based off promos he has been cutting in pre-taped vignettes recently, he is determined to get back on track. I know I've heard of Wentz elsewhere before, but I appreciated the commentary team filling me in on who he was during this bout. It was very fun while it lasted and Wentz looked impressive before ultimately falling to Sydal, who obviously needed the victory much more.
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