Mae Young Classic: Part Two!
Even though it didn’t seem possible, the action in round two was even better and more aw inspiring than the action in round one. In the first episode we saw Rachel Evers take on Abbey Laith, Piper Niven take on Serena Deeb, Princesa Sugehit take on Mercedes Martinez and Kairi Sane vs Bianca BelAir. There wasn’t a bad match in the bunch and honestly all eight women proved once again exactly why they deserved to be there. It was Abbey Laith, Piper Niven, Mercedes Martinez and Kairi Sane though, that punched there tickets to advance today. The incredible strength of Evers just wasn’t enough against the experience of Laith. Serena Deeb gave the fight of her life against Niven and while she never gave up, she still came up short against the powerhouse Piper Niven. The woman from CT, who holds a special place in my heart Mercedes Martinez over came the Mexican Sensation of Princesa Sugehit in what was nothing short of an incredibly hard hitting match up. And finally Kairi Sane was yet again involved in, in my opinion, the best match of the first episode against Bianca Belair. If you didn’t know Belair had only been training for ONE year, you wouldn’t know it as she fought tooth and nail against the Japanese wonder Kairi Sane. It seemed many times that Belair might just pull off the HUGE upset here today, but Kairi Sane pushed through the muscle of Belair, nailed her signature Elbow drop, and advances into the next round, in an absolutely OUTSTANDING match for both ladies.
In episode two we saw Lacey Evans vs Toni Storm, Mia Yim vs Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae vs Nicole Savoy. All eight competitors put there hearts and souls into their matches but in the end only Toni Storm, Shayna Baszler, Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae came out with a win. Evans and Storm came at each other with everything they had and gave us one hell of a match to kick off episode two. Yim and Baszler gave us a FIGHT. Both fighting tooth and nail to get the win, with Baszler getting an incredible transition into her submission lock for the win. Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai was outstanding. I liked both ladies so much in the first round, I couldn’t pick a personal winner, but in the end I think the crowd and the fans won, because we got to see an outstanding match up. LeRae went toe to toe with Savoy and luckily came out on top after hitting her wild ride maneuver.
We stepped into the Quarter Finals seeing Abbey Laith taking on Mercedes Martinez, Candice LeRae face the challenge of Shayna Baszler, Piper Niven took on Toni Storm and Kairi Sane locked up with Dakota Kai. Mercedes, Shayna, Toni and Kairi got their three counts and tap outs to advance into the semi finale round of the Mae Young Classic. Laith and Martinez laid it all out there. LeRae vs Baszler was a little scary to watch as LeRae fought like hell to get the upperhand on Baszler, which she achieved but not long enough to avoid Shaylas submission. Most of these matches end in some kind of sign of respect… but for some reason Baszler showed absolutely no respect for Candice, no hand shake at the beginning, refused to let go of the submission after the tap out, and ended the disrespect with a kick to her legs before leaving the ring. Piper Niven vs Toni Storm I believe had the most entertaining match, possibly of the entire tournament, ( but don’t quote me on that just yet) It was a fun fight for dominance as both competitors fought to advance. I would certainly not mind seeing these two go one on one again in the near future. And to wrap up the quarter finales, Kairi Sane went one on one with Dakota Kai in what was for me, personally, a very exciting match. I’ve loved both these two since the start of the tournament and knowing how they’ve wrestled throughout it, I knew going one on one would be a treat for us all, and it was. Dakota fought her way to win as hard as she could but in the end the Elbow of Kairi prevailed again.
In the semi- finals we were blessed with two incredible matches. Mercedes Martinez took on Shayna Baszler in a teacher vs student senario match up and Toni Storm went one on one with Kairi Sane. I imagined Mercedes vs Shayna to be hard hitting and I was so right. An incredible bout of strength, determination and dominance. Toni Storm vs Kairi Sane was my favorite of the two semi- final matches. Those two absolutely blew me away. In the beginning I hadn’t pegged Storm as one to go all the way, but after the second round I honestly believed she had more than a fair chance to get the upset over Kairi. Kairi Sane is incredible. I don’t think I can find the right words to describe her, but she’s definitely made me a fan for long after this tournament settles down.
Next Tuesday Kairi Sane goes one on one with Shayna Baszler and I am over the moon excited for this match. These two are SO different, with such different styles and seeing how that all comes together in a match is going to be interesting. At the beginning, in my first post about round one of this tournament, I picked six women who I could see going on to win this, Shayna and Kairi were BOTH on my list.
This entire tournament has been outstanding. I adore womens wrestling so much and I can’t begin to explain how happy it makes me that we’ve gotten to a point here, in WWE specifically where the women of the wrestling world were looked at as worthy of a 32 woman tournament, a whole WWE Network special for them, a gorgeous trophy and the title of being the Winner of The Mae Young Classic. While they didn’t go on to the semi- finals, girls like Piper Niven, Toni Storm, Dakota Kai, Candice LeRae, Mia Yim, Lacey Evans, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley and others have made me a fan for life. Every woman, a favorite of mine or not, proved why they were chosen to be one of the 32 women in this tournament. I hope this isn’t the last we see of some of them because the possible amazing five star match ups that could be made with them, along with women already on the NXT and WWE main roster makes my head spin with excitement.
We are certainly in for a wild ride, next tuesday, for the Finals of this Mae Young Classic in the match between Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler, and I am beyond excited for it.