3 things that went right on the Aug. 22 episode of WWE Raw


WWE made its final stop on its brief Canadian tour at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario which hosted the Aug. 22 episode of Raw. Even with a crowd that didn’t match the energy and enthusiasm of the Montreal, Quebec crowd for SmackDown, they appreciated the show they got to see.

Given that this show took place in Canada, the promotion prioritized highlighting some of its stars from north of the U.S. border, bookending the episode with hometown legends Trish Stratus and Edge, and showcasing the likes of Kevin Owens.

While Raw is still too long, Triple H and the rest of the creative team once again maximized the robust amount of time they had as part of the company’s march toward Clash at the Castle.

These three things went right on the Aug. 22 episode of WWE Raw.

Edge defeats Damian Priest; Beth Phoenix saves him from a post-match attack

You could argue that the Toronto crowd decided to save their energy for the main event, which pitted Edge against former Judgment Day stablemate Damian Priest. These folks couldn’t wait to hear Alterbridge’s Metalingus blast through the arena, and they maintained that exuberance once the bell rang.

The match quality kept the fans engaged, too. After some chain wrestling and a bit of gamesmanship by Edge, his powerbomb to Priest on the ringside barricade set the tone for what was to come. After that spot, we saw a typical modern WWE main event, complete with a big announcer’s desk spot (Priest’s Razor’s Edge) and a ref bump (which set up a visual pinfall to protect Priest in defeat) that was entertaining from start to finish.

Edge picked up the pinfall win after hitting a CANADIAN DESTROYER and the spear, but the rest of Judgment Day attacked him after the match. Fortunately, Beth Phoenix, who watched the match in the first row, ran out and forced Priest, Finn Balor, and Rhea Ripley to back off. Phoenix’s introduction into this feud now gives WWE another batch of matches to build up, primarily Phoenix vs. Ripley.

Johnny Gargano returns and kicks Theory in the face

Monday’s Raw also marked the return of Johnny Gargano to WWE. The former NXT Champion’s surprise appearance was met with near-universal joy, which he reciprocated with his obvious excitement over being in front of a live audience for the first time in months.

Once the cheers died down a bit, Gargano cut a pure babyface promo (so far, so good given that Gargano is one of the best babyfaces in wrestling) about how he wanted to win the Intercontinental, United States, and WWE Championships and prove to his newborn son that you can accomplish your dreams through hard work and perseverance.

As expected, this compelled Gargano’s old teammate in The Way, Theory, to interrupt and brag about how he’s on the fast track to doing everything Gargano hopes to do. He then offered to rejoin forces with Gargano and stuck his hand out for the no-look high five, but ate a superkick from “Johnny Wrestling” instead.

This segment went exactly to plan, as WWE quickly took advantage of Theory and Gargano’s history — and Theory’s lack of popularity — to reinforce Gargano as a babyface.

Dakota Kai and IYO SKY advance to the finals of the women’s tag title tournament.

Not that the finish to the Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs. Dakota Kai and IYO SKY match surprised anyone, but WWE made the correct choice by booking Kai and SKY to go over in the semifinals of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament.

Johnny Gargano’s return was the surprise fans didn’t know they needed. dark. Next

It was more shocking to hear the fans’ general apathy toward this match, especially after getting a decent lead-in segment with Trish Stratus. Regardless, these four women turned in a solid outing that ended with SKY rolling Asuka up after making a blind tag, giving her and Kai a spot in the finals and some momentum before teaming with Bayley to face Asuka, Bliss, and Bianca Belair at Clash at the Castle.