MAE YOUNG CLASSIC II – EPISODE SEVEN
PREMIERED ON OCT 17, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Beth Phoenix.
-Kicking off the 7th episode of the Mae Young classic was a video hyping the final 8 women involved in the quarterfinals.
-Michael Cole, Beth Phoenix and Renee Young welcomed the viewers to the show, talking about how the pressure is on for these 8 competitors. A graphic for Lacey Lane vs. Meiko Satomura was shown next, leading into the video package hyping their match.
(1) Lacey Lane vs. Meiko Satomura
-The video began with highlights of Lacey Lane’s last round victory. She said being part of the women’s revolution is surreal, and she wants to show the world what kind of asset she can be. Highlights of Satomura’s last round win plays next, with Satomura stating that she wants the world to know what true strength means. Through her performance, she’ll show the world the strength behind Japanese wrestling. Lane says that she knows this will be a challenge, but she doesn’t fear it, she welcomes it.
-Lane makes her way to the ring first, to a lukewarm face reaction from the crowd. The announcers hype her accolades in this year’s Classic as she made her entrance. Satomura’s music hit, and she emerged from the back to a pretty decent pop from the Full Sail crowd. Cole touted her as the final boss of Japan once again, and said that Lane is the underdog going against her.
Analysis: Lane has only been wrestling for roughly a year, and she was up against the tenured veteran in Satomura. She was impressive in her first two matches in the Classic, and working with Satomura should hopefully bring out the best in the rookie.
-The two shake hands out of respect in the center of the ring as the ref called for the bell. They circled each other, and tied up. Satomura made the first move with a kick to the thigh, blocked by Lane. She got a side headlock on Lane, who shot Satomura off the ropes. Satomura blocked Lane’s offense, taking Lane to the mat with a stiff shoulder tackle. Lane shot Satomura off the ropes again and got low on the mat, Satomura countered with a cartwheel landing on her feet. Then Satomura shot Lane off the ropes, got low, and Lane countered with a cartwheel of her own. Unimpressed, Satomura unleashed a series of strikes on the rookie Lane. Lane blocked the last of those strikes, and threw a kick of her own that was caught by Satomura.
-Satomura released Lane’s leg, and offered another handshake. Lane swatted her hand away, to be met with two roundhouse kicks to the face. After a fast-paced sequence of kicks, strikes and reversals from the two, Lane made a cover for two. Lane got back to her feet, and the two traded waist locks. Lane flipped out of the lock, and kicked Satomura in the face for another two. Lane went for another kick, Satomura ducked and retaliated with a kick to the face of Lane. Satomura attempted to lock in the arm bar, but Lane made the rope break after struggling to get to the ropes. Satomura continued to punish Lane with strikes and a suplex. Lane got the upper hand and backed Satomura to the corner.
-She gave Satomura a forearm to the face, and then launched herself off the ropes to deliver a springboard crossbody for a near fall. The two make it back to their feet, and Satomura quickly landed a Death Valley Driver on Lane for the 1, 2, 3.
WINNER: Meiko Satomura.
Analysis: Satomura dominated most of the bout, but Lane made a pretty convincing comeback towards the end. To watch Lane without knowing she’s only a year into wrestling, you probably wouldn’t think she’s that new to the business. She showed great athleticism and ring awareness, and put up a believable fight. A great match to kick off the show.
(2) Io Shirai vs. Deonna Purrazzo
–Shirai and Purrazzo were shown back stage prepping for their match. The hype video for their match kicked off showcasing Shirai’s victories in the classic. Similar highlights played for Purrazzo as she said she is a fujiwara armbar specialist, and she loves to break arms.
-The Full Sail crowd cheered Shirai along as she walked down the ramp. The announcers acknowledge her accolades on the indies, and hype her victories in the classic thus far. Purrazzo made her way to the ring next, to a minor reaction from the crowd. Cole said that Purrazzo told him earlier in the day that she is eerily calm going into her match against Shirai.
-The two shook hands, and the ref signaled for the bell. Test of Strength to begin, and the two traded holds. Purrazzo knocked Shirai to the mat first, but Shirai popped right back up. They traded offense, until Purrazzo nailed a hurricanrana, which Shirai rolled through and landed on her feet.
-Shirai and Purrazzo continued trading offense, complete with back handsprings across the ring trying to one up one another. Shirai nailed Purrazzo who rolled out of the ring. Shirai bounced off the ropes for a suicide dive, taking out Purrazzo. They both laid outside the ring to recuperate before Shirai threw her back in the ring and covered for two.
-Shirai landed a double knee and covered for two. She then threw Purrazzo into the corner, who reversed and rolled Shirai up with a school boy for a quick cover. Purrazzo quickly made another cover for two. Shirai knocked Purrazzo down, and double stomped her midsection. Shirai continued her assault on Purrazzo with a series of kicks and strikes for nearly a full minute. Purrazzo began to fire back, with an arm drag followed by a basement dropkick for a quick cover for two.
-They struggled to their feet, and Purrazzo kicked Shirai twice, landed a Russian leg sweep and rolled into a Fujiwara armbar. Shirai writhed in pain, but was able to counter to a pin over her own on Purrazzo, who kicked out. Shirai locked in a cross face, but Purrazzo took a page out of her competitor’s book by rolling Shirai over to make a quick cover for two.
-Shirai landed a palm strike on Purrazzo, who landed on the middle rope setting up for the 619 from Shirai. Shirai launched herself off the top rope with a missile dropkick, and quickly covered Purrazzo who barely kicked out. Shirai knocked her down, and went up top for a moonsault, but was knocked off the turnbuckle by Purrazzo. Purrazzo went to Suplex City, with three Germans on Shirai followed by a cover for two. Shirai kicked, and Purrazzo rolled into another Fujiwara armbar. Just when it looked like Shirai was going to tap, she somehow rolled through into a pin.
-Shirai then locked in another cross face. Purrazzo, trapped in the center of the ring couldn’t reach the ropes, so she had to power out of the hold. Shirai just immediately knocked her down into the corner, and landed the running knee stomp, followed by a top rope moonsault for the win.
WINNER: Io Shirai
Analysis: These women went hard at one another. Shirai maintained the advantage throughout, but Purrazzo was poised as a credible foil to the lovable Shirai. Either one was more than deserving to move on to the next round.
(3) Teagan Nox vs. Rhea Ripley
–Nox talked about her exclusion from the classic last year due to a torn ACL to kick off the hype video for the next match. Highlights of her two wins play as she said she feels sorry for the rest of the women, because she’s going to take it. Ripley said she taught herself not to care about anyone or anything anymore, and she’s going to tear through Nox to move on in the Classic.
-Nox made her way to the ring first to a massive pop from the crowd. The announcers talked about her shiniest wizard as highlights of her last victory played on split screen. Ripley came out next to a chorus of boos. Cole touted her as Dangerous as she made her entrance.
-Nox went for the handshake, but Ripley swatted her hand away. The bell rang, and Nox knocked Ripley out of the ring immediately with a dropkick. She followed it up with a suicide dive, knocking Ripley to the steel entrance ramp. Nox threw Ripley into the ring, but she fell to one knee after throwing her. Cole exclaims that Nox looks hurt. The ref runs outside the ring to check on Nox, and helps her back into the ring. Nox tries to continue, and is slammed to the mat by Ripley. Ripley covers for two.
-The ref talked with a prone Nox, who can be seen saying “I’m okay, I’m fine”. Nox attempts to get to her feet, but the ref threw the “X”. The medical staff rushed to the ring to check on the injured knee of Nox, and ultimately deemed she was okay to continue.
-Ripley quickly attacked Nox with clubbing blows to the back, before hanging her up on the 2nd rope. Ripley threw her to the corner and chopped her in the chest a few times. At this point, Cole says that he just got word that this injured knee was Nox’s good knee, and not the recently repaired ACL.
-Ripley comes back with chops of her own, but was met with a vicious dropkick from Ripley. When Nox hit the mat, she was visibly in pain. The ref threw the “X” one more time and signaled for the bell, stopping the match due to injury.
WINNER: Rhea Ripley
Analysis: I managed to avoid MYC spoilers for the most part, knowing that I’d be doing this write up. One spoiler I was unable to avoid, however, was that Nox was injured during this match with Ripley. Admittedly, it was tough to watch. The injury itself didn’t look gruesome, however knowing about Nox’s injury last year just made this injury all the worse. You can’t help but feel for Nox, and I hope she’s able to rehab and return next year! Ripley looked like a complete badass throughout this short contest. The few shots she did get in before the match was stopped looked brutal, and she has this “Don’t mess with me” presence about her. It’s a shame that her win came at Nox’s expense, but seeing this killer Ripley move to the next round is OK by me.
-Nox received a standing ovation from the Full Sail crowd as the medical staff helped her out of the ring and to the backstage area.
(4) Mia Yim vs. Toni Storm
-Mia Yim said she has the motivation and determination to be on top to start the hype video for the next match. She said she knows what she needs to do to win, and she’ll make sure she brings many more eyes to the Blasian baddie. Toni Storm said that there is no stopping what she can do, and she will go to the finals and come out victorious.
-Mia Yim made her way to the ring first to a decent pop from the crowd. Her hand is still wrapped up from her injury in her first-round match. The Full Sail Arena erupted as Storm followed suit, making her entrance next.
– The two shook hands in the ring, and backed to their corners. The bell rang, and they tied up. Yim takes the offense first with strikes to the back and kicks to the midsection. Storm gets knocked into the corner, and Yim uses her foot to choke her. She gets Storm to her feet, and whips her to the ropes but Storm retaliates with a big boot. Yim falls to the corner, and Storm delivers a knee to the chin for a two count.
-Storm hit a series of kicks and strikes, and made another cover for two. Storm starts stomping on Yim’s injured hand. Yim made it to her feet, to be sent back to the mat by Storm’s elbows. Yim gets the advantage again, stomping a mudhole in Storm who was sitting in the corner. Yim covers for two. Yim gets a sleeper hold locked in, but Storm made it to her feet. Before Storm could escape, Yim threw her to the mat and covered for another near fall.
-Yim then locked in a bow and arrow submission on Storm, who countered into a pin attempt. Yim kicked out, and then locked in a rollup of her own for two. Yim synched in a leg scissors waist lock on Storm. Storm, showing her strength stood up with the hold still locked in on her, and delivered a spine buster to Yim. Storm tried catching her breath, but Yim pulled off a drop toe hold and locked in another sleeper. Yim broke the hold, and delivered a series of kicks to Yim for another near fall.
-Yim brought Storm to her feet again, before delivering a series of kicks, back hands and palm strikes. She then landed a beautiful Pele Kick to Storm for another near fall. Exasperated, Yim got Storm to her feet again, and started pummeling her once again. Storm dodged one of Yim’s strikes, and kicked Yim straight in her injured hand. They then punched each other in the face at the same time, sending both women to the mat.
-The two struggled to get to a vertical base. They both get to a kneeling position and trade slaps and strikes. They scream at one another, and after some back and forth strikes, Storm made her comeback with a German Suplex followed by a hip check to the corner. Yim recovered with a suplex for a two count. With Storm recovering in the corner, Yim charged at her. Storm jumped over Yim and went to kick Yim, who caught the kick reversing into a powerbomb pin combo for two.
– “This Is Awesome” can be heard throughout the arena as Yim looked for her “Sole Food” finisher. Storm countered, and attacked the bad wrist. She landed another German suplex, and then finished Yim off with her “Storm Zero” finishing move for the win.
WINNER: Toni Storm
Analysis: Hands down, match of the night. Both women captivated their audience throughout the bout, and told an excellent story in the ring. Storm seemed like she may take a loss to Yim at multiple times throughout the match, but Yim’s “Achilles Wrist” was ultimately her downfall. The fact that Yim’s wrist injury was sold throughout the first, second and third round matches was an excellent touch.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The women of the Mae Young Classic delivered yet another action-packed hour of entertainment. This leads us to the semifinals of the tournament, and I could not be more excited. Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai in next week’s semifinal matchups should be, as JR would say, barn burners! Watching Nox take the loss due to another unfortunate injury was heartbreaking to witness, but in a way I think it made Rhea Ripley look like more of a badass. Sure, Ripley didn’t cause the injury nor did the announce team spin it that way. But there was the underlying story of Nox needing to “pull out all the stops” against her much larger opponent and ultimately failing to do so – allowing the larger Ripley to win. Excellent episode, and they did an excellent job at getting the audience hyped for the semifinals.