The Big Takeaway:
The show gave Nikki Cross some promo time before she was interrupted by Peyton Royce who had Lacey Evans in tow. After Cross challenged either of them to a match, Royce got the win thanks to lots of interference from Evans. In a short opener, Angel Garza debuted a new look, sporting a suit and shorter hair, as he bested Carrillo.
Angel Garza defeated Humberto Carrillo (5:15)
Garza got a haircut and came to the run in a suit, posturing and showing off how sharp he was looking. Although he did look good, the shorter hair makes him look a little less unique.
Wrestling in suit trousers must suck, but Garza and Carrillo had a good five minute match here. The slacks came off halfway through as Garza chucked them at a prone Carrillo. The early going was far too slow and was full of rest holds, but when Carrillo got the hope spots, it got really good.
Carrillo did a beautiful spot where he had Garza in position for a Wing Clipper, but he managed to transition into a suplex which must have taken some serious strength. After Carrillo tried pretty much his entire moveset and still couldn’t get the win, Garza landed a superkick and quickly applied the Wing Clipper to grab the win out of nowhere.
These two are great together when let off the leash and deserve longer efforts to show what they can do.
Nikki Cross promo
After the break, Sarah Schreiber was in the ring with Cross who ran down the end of her friendship with Alexa Bliss, saying that The Fiend had brainwashed her. Schreiber asked about her defeat to Bliss last week, which Cross said hurt after Bliss had "taken [her] emotions and used them against [her]."
Cross said she was made to look like an absolute fool before Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce came out to interrupt. Evans poked fun at Schreiber’s new hairstyle. Royce asked whether Bliss was ever really Cross' friend. Royce asserted that she and Evans were fake friends. Cross bit back and challenged either one of them to a match and Royce took the bait.
Peyton Royce (w/ Lacey Evans) defeated Nikki Cross (4:30)
Cross took control of this one with Evans looking on to both cheerlead and provide key distractions. After Cross dominated, she ran outside to chase Evans away and ran back into Royce’s boot.
Royce then slowed things down and applied a modified rope hang armbar that looked pretty good until the ref broke it up. They went back and forth with Cross using a triplet of clotheslines before hitting a running cross body to the corner. On the pin attempt, Evans placed Royce’s leg on the ropes. The ref stopped the count and lambasted Evans.
But, the distraction was enough for Royce to once again regain power. She kicked Cross and quickly went for the Déjà Vu to pick up the win.
This was a little strange all around. The setup felt very forced and the match was just dull once Cross wasn't in control. The message seemed to be that having friends doesn't help you as Evans helped Royce get the win even though Royce made it clear that she and Evans weren't an alliance.
After they not only shot an angle on Main Event but made brief reference to it on Raw last week, it was nice to see them carry on with a fresher format here. The promo segment served its purpose, but went around the houses to get there and could have easily been left out. Let’s see if this continues or whether they capitulate in a few weeks and return to business as usual.