WWE SmackDown: Sonya Deville Continues Breakout Year with Win Over Mandy Rose

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2020

Credit: WWE.com

Sonya Deville continued her breakout year Friday night on SmackDown with a defining win over former tag team partner Mandy Rose, during which she stripped her opponent of her fake eyelashes and "Golden Goddess" demeanor.

Deville brought out a side of Rose we had never seen, an aggressive edge that forced her friend-turned-enemy to abandon the glitz and glam for more intensity and emotion. Then she exploited it.

Daria Berenato @SonyaDevilleWWE

I’ve always been better, I will always be better, I am the Star now ... friend.

The Pride Fighter scored what may be the biggest win of her career at a time when she is building momentum for herself and becoming arguably the breakout star of a storyline that almost certainly was designed to have her play second fiddle to Rose.


Creating Her Own Star

Deville has spent the majority of her WWE career in the background.

Whether it was as a member of Absolution, where her and Rose were the rookie backups for Paige, or as the half of Fire and Desire that was blurred out of the picture while Corey Graves fawned over her partner on commentary, she has consistently been overshadowed.

Ryan Satin @ryansatin

Sonya Deville went from “nice to meet you, sir” to “your daughter calls me daddy too” https://t.co/K4xa5zbGcf

The love triangle story involving Rose, Otis and Dolph Ziggler became a major part of SmackDown and appeared to be little more than an excuse to spotlight The Golden Goddess before sending her skyrocketing up the ranks in the women's division while Deville was left to pick up the pieces.

Instead, the New Jerseyan has grabbed the spotlight by the throat and made it her own.

The moment it was revealed that she was behind the failed Valentine's Day date between Rose and Otis, she has excelled in every key moment. From feigning sadness over her breakup with Rose to revealing her true feelings about their partnership to the savage attack she dealt her former bestie earlier in May, she has been spot on with conveying every intricate detail of her performance.

Meanwhile, Rose—though exactly what she has needed to be—has come across as one-dimensional.

WWE Creative's handling of the babyface in this storyline and its lack of development as far as she goes has allowed Deville to capture the audience's attention and finally showcase what it is that she can do when given the opportunity to explode out of the background.


What's Next for Deville?

Her win Friday ensures the feud will continue, and with it, the former MMA competitor has the chance to continue turning heads and earning attention she may not have otherwise gotten had things stayed the way they had been.

Expect another match with Rose that, surprisingly, does not appear as though it will happen Sunday at Money in the Bank. Given the intensity with which the women approached their match Friday night, it felt tailor-made for pay-per-view, where they probably could have expanded on what was a very good, highly entertaining contest.


EXCLUSIVE: @SonyaDevilleWWE says her plan to ruin @WWE_MandyRose "is just getting started." #SmackDown https://t.co/mAiG8imEAv

Deville will continue antagonizing Rose, talking trash and adding injury to insult. She is the heel, and she has excelled as the ultra-aggressive villain in this program. Rose will ultimately win, if only because that is how this story ends. But do not be surprised if, when all is said and done, it is The Pride Fighter herself who ends up benefiting long term.

She has been so good and such a revelation throughout this ordeal that one can only wonder how long it is before she is challenging for the SmackDown Women's Championship and, more importantly, wearing gold around her waist.