The Big Takeaway:
This week featured two decidedly average matches in a show that was shrouded in the intrigue surrounding the WWE Draft. What should have been a bigger deal wasn’t as Peyton Royce defeated Billie Kay for the second time in as many matches together. Then, Andrade and Akira Tozawa worked a dull main event with Andrade eventually coming out on top.
Peyton Royce defeated Billie Kay (5:41)
With the draft up and running, Royce and Kay will have to wait until Raw to see whether they will end up on the same show. After splitting at the end of August after five years as a team, this was only their second match against each other.
There’s lots of talk that this split will see Royce get a push as a singles star, but these ideas are so often forgotten about or reviewed. Royce posted a picture of herself on Twitter with a SmackDown background on Friday asking, "Is this what you want?"
But like many of the recent WWE tag team splits that lead to a feud of sorts, this was is just as tame and disappointing as most. Royce won their first match on Raw last month and she came out the victor again here in a tepid contest.
After lots of false starts, they had a very much back and forth bout where neither really showed much beyond strikes, kicks, and hip tosses. It wouldn’t surprise me to see both work on this show over the next few months to get some singles experience.
In the end, Kay got a near fall from a sunset flip, but Royce used a big boot and the Déjà Vu for the win. They seemed to enjoy the novelty, but all told, this wasn’t much of a match.
Andrade defeated Akira Tozawa (7:55)
Andrade and Tozawa also find themselves homeless after night one of the draft. For Andrade, Angel Garza’s move to Raw may signal the chance for a different direction and a new singles run. But somebody has needed to hit the reset but on Tozawa’s gimmick for some time now.
Although this picked up in the last minute, this was similarly dull and overreliant on rest holds.
The last minute or so saw the flurry of action. Tozawa hit a crossbody off the top rope for two. Andrade tne beat Tozawa down and went for a suplex. Tozawa reversed it into a small package but again, Andrade kicked out.
The finish saw Andrade catch Tozawa’s charge with an elbow before nailing him with a hammerlock DDT for the win.
Tozawa is so ineffective (just seven wins in 2020) that at this point, they just need to do something different with him. The fact that five of those aforementioned wins were in 24/7 matches and two were against opponents who no longer work for the company says it all.
If the draft wasn’t running alongside this show, there would be very little intrigue at all. Royce and Kay should have been a much bigger deal than presented, but they gave them no help in making it seem so. Andrade is wasted on a show like this, but let’s see what Monday brings.