10 Ups & 1 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Sept 4)


10. 'The Empress' Strikes Back

Asuka Peyton Royce

The latest IIconics vs. Naomi clash was fine. Lasting just 85 seconds in total, it saw the former SmackDown Women's Champion finally overcome her numerical disadvantage, hitting Peyton Royce with a Sunset Flip for the victory.

Though the bout itself wasn't too important, the post-match was. Royce and Billie Kay attacked Naomi after the bell. It looked as though they were about to get one over on her once again, but out came Asuka, who cleared the two Aussies from the ring then checked on the hurt Naomi.

Though there are some minor concerns here (Asuka has always worked best as a lone wolf, not a babyface sidekick), the angle actually got over. 'The Empress' got a solid pop as she charged out, decked The IIconics, and stood tall. Now, we can only hope for an effective follow-up. Asuka's rebuild is a gargantuan task, and she may never feel as dangerous or magnetic as she was down in NXT, but she's too talented to stay under forever.


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