Happy Mae Young Classic Day! Part One!
I took today off from work because I didn’t want to wait any longer for this Mae Young Classic to kick off. This first round was full of such talent, emotion and physicality. I love these tournaments because I personally get introduced to some, I become re-familiarized with some, and sometimes I find a few that become my absolute favorites. This tournament is such a huge step forward for Women’s’ Wrestling, not just in WWE but everywhere, and naming it after the darling Mae Young makes it even better. Lita and JR were excellent commentary and having a lady ref for some of the matches? even better! This is just round one but I’ve already seen many women I hope stick around after this is all over whether they won their matches today or not. Let’s talk about these incredible 16 matches we witnessed today.
Episode one consisted of Kay Lee Ray vs Princesa Sugehit, Vanessa Borne vs Serena Deeb, Zeda vs Shayna Baszler and Abbey Laith vs Jazzy Gabert. Princesa Sugehit, Serena Deeb, Shayna Baszler and Abbey Laith went on to win their matches and advance into round two and gave us some great action to kick off this tournament. I loved Serena Deeb when she was in WWE the first time and to see her coming back for this is really exciting. Shayna Baszler has made quite the transition and has done so incredibly well. It is a serious treat to have someone like her in the WWE and this tournament. Abbey Laith and Princesa Sugehit are who that until today I had never heard of but I certainly know who they are now, both incredibly talented women. Jazzy, Zeda, Vanessa and Kay Lee Ray may not have advanced but they put their names out there and showed what they were capable of. Jazzy really impressed me with her strength, Vanessa has an incredible look about her, Kay Lee Ray and Zeda are nothing to sleep on either.
Episode two showed us the matches of Mercedes Martinez vs Xia Li, Rhea Ripley vs Miranda Salina, Marti Belle vs Rachel Evers, and Mia Yim vs Sarah Logan. Mercedes, Rhea, Rachel, and Mia all came out with wins in this match and we were once again blessed with some incredible matches. Mercedes Martinez holds a special place with me because she is from Waterbury CT, a 15-minute drive down the highway from me, and while I’ve always heard she was talented, her match in this tournament gave me a taste of it and I loved it. I’m unsure of the reason but Rhea Ripley is a competitor that I Found myself instantly drawn too because she even got in the ring and then when she started wrestling I like her even more. I’ve seen a few Rachel Evers matches on NXT and this may have been her best I’ve seen. Mia Yim is incredible, I resonate with her story of domestic violence and I applaud her for telling her story and making a difference. She is a superstar inside and outside of the ring. While Miranda, Marti, Xia and Sarah Logan may not have advanced their talents certainly didn’t go unnoticed by me. Miranda is the perfect combination of sass and talent. Marti Belle was someone I was shocked to see not advance as I’ve seen her work many times before and she is beyond amazing. Considering this was Xia first match ever I’d think she should be very proud of herself and Sarah Logan REALLY impressed me and I hope she sticks around.
Episode three gave us the match ups of Ayesha Raymond vs Toni Storm, Dakota Kai vs Kavita Devi, Bianca BelAir vs Sage Beckett and Piper Niven vs Santana Garrett. Toni, Dakota, Bianca and Piper came out on top of their perspective matches and all eight women gave us great matches. Toni Storms attitude immediately drew me to her before she even started wrestling and much like with Rhea, when got in the ring, I liked her even more. I’ve heard many things on social media about the talent that Dakota possesses and in her match today I got to witness just a bit of it and well color me impressed. Piper Nivens impressed the hell out of me and I cannot wait to see more from her. And Bianca proved why she belonged in the tournament. While Santana, Sage, Kavita and Ayesha didn’t qualify for the second round I think it’s safe to say they were certainly impressive. The strength of Kavita and the incredible look of Ayesha got my attention right away. Santana Garrett is a name I’ve come across on social media many times and she showed why in her match today, and Sage Beckett impressed me with her strength and personality as well.
In the finale episode, episode four, we finished the first round off strong with matches from Taynara Conti vs Lacey Evans, Renee Michelle vs Candice LeRae, Nicole Savoy vs Reina Gonzalez and Tessa Blanchard vs Kairi Sane. Lacey, Candice, Nicole and Kairi were the finale four to advance into the second round of the Mae Young Classic today and helped to finished us off. I liked the look and in ring ability of Lacey Evans when I first saw her compete on NXT TV and she reminded me again today why I like her so much. Of all the hype I heard about Candice LeRae she proved to me she was so much more than hype and Nicole Savoy showed incredible strength against the likes of a generational star. And Kairi Sane literally blew me away with her talent, look and personality in her match tonight. While Reina, Taynara, Renee and Tessa didn’t advance, all four ladies proved why they deserved to have been given the chance. Reina was quiet the hard hitter, and Renee gave one hell of a fight against Candice. Taynara impressed me in a huge way and I believe she’s going to be big for WWE if they can keep her around. Tessa Blanchard proved that she is more than just a Blanchard, she is oozing with talent and if she wasn’t up against a talented like Kairi, it seemed to me like she’d would have advanced in this tournament.
While all the match ups were truly fantastic, If I had to pick my favorite matches from this first round I’d have to go with…
1. Tessa vs Kairi. Those two seriously blew me away. Excellent match, great way to end the first round
2. Mia Yim vs Sarah Logan was so good. Had my undivided attention the entire time.
3. Piper Nevin vs Santana Garrett. This was such a fun, fast, exciting match up!
Throughout the entire first round there were some women who I truly loved, and really no one that I didn’t like. If anything, I’d just say that some just resonated with me more than others. With the first round over and the second quickly approaching who really stood out to me today? Well let me tell you.
My top six picks for this tournament are….
- Kairi Sane. I literally fell in love with this lady today. Her look, her in ring ability and her all around personality is incredible.
- Dakota Kai. She, much like Kairi is just an all-around good pick. Look, in ring ability and personality are amazing.
- Rhea Ripley. Like I mentioned before there was just something about this lady that instantly drew me to her and I think it will do the same for many other people watching. Being so young still this lady is already oozing talent and can only go up from here.
- Mia Yim, not only do I find her to be incredibly talented, she’s just an all-around good human being and that goes a long way for me.
- Shayna Baszler. Seeing just how good she is today with her transition from MMA to professional wrestling shocked me in a good way. I think she brings something different than most of the other ladies and I think that is such a good thing.
- Lacey Evans. Everything about her just screams to me… the future. Her background is so impressive and she brings that impressiveness into the ring and it shines with her.
Like I said there isn’t a woman who has advanced that I didn’t like. These six are just, right now, as I’m writing this, that I think should go the distance, and even win this tournament, but there are many other women I’d like to see advance as well but that’s why I forced myself to only pick six for this! WWE did an excellent job scouting the women for this tournament and I’m so excited for these round two matches and beyond excited for the final round live from Las Vegas on September 12th!
Hit me up on my twitter amandaraee_x3 or my Instagram amandaraeex3 to tell me who impressed you today and who your choices for winner are! I can’t wait to hear them!
Until next time.