WWE MAE YOUNG CLASSIC – RECAP SPECIAL REPORT (SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY TRIPLE H)
SEPT. 11, 2017
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK RIGHT AFTER RAW
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
AIRED ON THE WWE NETWORK IMMEDIATLEY FOLLOWING MONDAY NIGHT RAW
The WWE Mae Young Classic recap special kicked off with Charly Caruso hard selling the upcoming live finale of the tournament in front of the massive tournament bracket. It was a very nice visual to shoot as all the names on the wall conveyed just how big the tournament was and how important the finals were going to be. Caruso then hyped a video package that would highlight the entire tournament. This promo video detailed the road that both Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane went down to get to the live final. It’s been par for the course in this tournament, but the video was stellar. Say what you will about the WWE, but they hit grand slams on these pieces and this one was no different. After watching, it would be hard to say outright that you weren’t interested in seeing Baszler and Sane fight. From there, Caruso transitioned and hyped the never before seen tag match that was about to air. Within that hype, she teased a major happening for the end of the match. After the tease, she threw the broadcast to the on-site commentators, Tom Philips, Nigel McGuiness, and WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix.
(1) SANTANA GARRETT & SARAH LOGAN & MARTI BELLE vs. TESSA BLANCHARD &, JAZZY GABERT & KAY LEE RAY
Team Garrett hit the ring first. The crowd popped nicely for Santana and especially loud for Sarah Logan. Logan was one of my favorites from the tournament so it was fun to see her in action again. As for Marti Belle, she was the forgotten soul out there and looked lost while in the ring. Blanchard hit the ring next to a reaction comparable to that of Garrett’s. Then came Gabert. The response to her was out of this world. Without question, the response to Gabert in this match was louder and more passionate than any other response throughout the tournament. Logan and Blanchard started the match, but the chants for Gabert still rang through the arena. Garrett got a quick tag from Logan after she went down from a stiff right hand from Blanchard. After some quick Garrett offense, Blanchard tagged in Kay Lee Ray. As Blanchard exited the ring, she, Ray, and Garrett executed a really nice springboard moonsault spot that the crowd enjoyed. After many back and forth tags for each team, Belle and Ray finally got some time to shine and both hit nice offense and counters on the other. Ray looked fantastic and was over huge with the crowd. On the flip side, something seemed off with Belle. She appeared disinterested and to not get the gravity or size of the moment she had in front of her. Ray eventually tagged in Gabert and the crowd went bananas. Gabert then tossed Belle around a few times to the delight of the audience and then tagged in Tessa Blanchard who controlled Belle in her corner. Belle battled back and both her and Blanchard hit a hot tag to Gabert and Garrett respectfully. The crowd popped big again for Gabert, but Santana calmed them quickly by connecting on a nice super kick sequence. From there, all hell broke loose. There were blind tags all around which made it difficult to track who the legal women were. Jazzy got a tag once again and stole the show from that point forward. Garrett leapt from the top rope for a splash but Gabert caught her in mid-air and connected with her driving slam finish for the win.
WINNER: Blanchard, Gabert, and Ray at 5:05
-The crowd popped huge for Gabert getting this victory and chanted for her loudly as she celebrated with her team. Gabert appeared to be a little taken aback by the response. As Jazzy made her way up the ramp, the audience continued cheering and chanted “please sign Jazzy”. After that, Triple H’s music hit and the crowd rumbled with anticipation. They were truly shocked to see him. Once he grabbed the microphone the crowd directed their “please sign Jazzy” chants toward him. He responded by joking about budgets but it appeared he respected their opinion. From there, he thanked the crowd and talked about the opportunity gap between men and women in the wrestling business ten years ago. He said there wasn’t a real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for women in the business like there was for men. Until now. The crowd ate that line up and chanted “women’s wrestling” as the special went off the air.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This match was really fun to watch. Having it take place outside the walls of the Mae Young Classic tournament added an element of intrigue that I didn’t think would be there. The reaction that Gabert got was historic. It had to make WWE wonder if they made the right choice with who they booked for their finale. That said, we certainly have not seen the last of Gabert in a WWE ring. Gabert was actually on the heel side of things in the match, but by the end, the reaction she received made her team the babyfaces. This special as a whole was effective in creating additional buzz amongst the diehard audience for the live finale of the Mae Young Classic. That was the plan and WWE was successful with it.
CATCH UP ON PREVIOUS MAE YOUNG CLASSIC REPORTS HERE.