Hello y’all, and welcome to the seventh week of the Mae Young Classic! This week we have:
- Meiko Satomura vs. Lacey Lane
- Rhea Ripley vs. Tegan Nox
- Io Shirai vs. Deonna Purrazzo
- Mia Yim vs. Toni Storm
How did they fare? Well, let’s get into it and find out! I’m dispensing with the slideshow here for this review.
Up first, we have Lacey, the most inexperienced to enter the Top 8, against the most seasoned competitor in this match, Meiko Satomura.
This match mostly dealt with strikes and kicks and counter to those strikes and kicks, I was actually surprised that how even the match was. No woman had a distinct advantage, and it was a shock to see Lacey Lane do well in strong style against a veteran. The match was too short to really get out of the first gear, maybe Lacey wasn’t capable of a longer match, but it was a showcase for Meiko and her style of wrestling while giving Lacey a chance to show us what she can do. She was not allowing Meiko to toy with her, but she got her receipt for it. The standout moments are the high springboard crossbody by Lane to Meiko, and that turning bicycle kick to Lane from Meiko after Lacey refused to shake her hand and Lacey’s leg sweep into an on her knee roundhouse kick to Meiko’s face.
Match rating: 4/10
Next, we have Io Shirai vs. Deonna Purrazzo!
This was a very competitive bout. Not the clinic that Beth thought, but a solid encounter, they began with chain wrestling, trading holds and showing off their athletic ability including Shirai kipping out of a headscissor takedown. Both women also used backflips, Shirai opting for a full backhand spring into a front standing dropkick, and Deonna with her backflip into a low dropkick (I personally think Deonna needs to drop that move, it’s pointless. Looks like Lacey Von Erich with her moonsault into an elbow drop). Io presses her advantage with a suicide dive that after seeing the likes of Brie Bella and Tegan Nox not come out looking good from, makes me nervous.
Shirai also uses her knees very adeptly in the match and slows the pace. A missed Meteora leads to a trading of pinning combinations. Deonna goes for a casadora and gets a victory roll into a coup de grace. Io is beating her like she’s owed lunch money. But I must say, these strikes, while they probably hurt, look weak, and to spice things up, Deonna chops the mess out of Io, but can’t mount an advantage until her dropkick we alluded to earlier.
Deonna now has the advantage and hits a four move combination: back kick, running knee, side Russian leg sweep right into the Fujiwara armbar. Io with a crossface to respond, then a Kasumi from Dead or Alive looking upward palm strike into a tiger feint kick and springboard missile dropkick for two, moonsault attempt-no. Three Germans that are shades of the Canadian Crippler and Kurt Angle, armbar, countered into a pinning combination and crossface. Shirai knocks Deonna into the corner with her knee, Meteora, and a very sloppy moonsault for the win.
A show of respect between both ladies, and a backstage interview with Miss Deonna.
Thoughts: I dunno, the energy in the building was just odd, the match was good, very solid, but it didn’t blow me away. I think after seeing Io beat Pentagón up and down the arena in Lucha Underground and take as good as she got, I expected her matches to be more intense. That being said, they put on a fine match, and I like that Io again expanded her moveset in this tournament again. What I also liked was that both women were able to flow from move to move in two-to-three move combinations and make it look FLAWLESS, especially Deonna’s kick, knee, sweep, armbar sequence. Well done! She’s definitely one to watch here in the WWE. Io, girl, I must say, these sloppy, Lita-esque circa 2000-2001 moonsaults where you kind of just throw your body and hope for the best either need to tighten up or be chopped.
Match rating: 6/10
In our third bout, we all know how this will end, we have Rhea Ripley against Tegan Nox…
Unfortunately, we all know how this will end…
We start off with Rhea not shaking hands with Tegan. Early on, Tegan sends Rhea to the outside for a suicide dive, and you can tell on the landing, she landed much like Lita did at New Years Revolution in 2005, it was very awkward. Ripley presses her advantage by dropping Tegan onto her front from at least 6 feet in the air. Trainers are called, she keeps saying she can go. Shot to the midsection by Ripley and she just clubs and picks Tegan apart. To the buckle, hard chop in the corner and on the ropes. Tegan answers with chops, off the ropes, and she’s blasted, I mean BLASTED with a hard dropkick, and Tegan mercifully has had enough. Tegan is in tears, members of the audience are in tears, I’m in tears, and the crowd is thanking Tegan and applauding her efforts.
— WWE (@WWE) October 19, 2018
The commentary team discusses the accident, and Beth really feels for her having been there before. Nice touch.
Backstage, we see Tegan being helped and aided by trainers and staff and she’s still in tears when she sees Triple H. She keeps repeating how sorry she was, and Triple H tells her it’s just a bump in the road and not to be sorry.
Thoughts: We all knew this was happening, but I was surprised by how it went down. I can relate to when seemingly harmless things can result in a hard injury. I pinched my sciatic nerve by simply straightening up to stand after putting together a bed frame, so I get it. What I didn’t get was just how bad it was a was – dislocated kneecap, torn MCL, torn LCL, torn ACL, both meniscus torn, multiple bone contusions and a fracture on her left tibia. She has all the respect in the world for continuing the match and trying hard to finish. However, it was heartbreaking and uncomfortable to see her in that much pain and in tears. I wish her a speedy recovery and well wishes. Also Rhea Ripley deserves credit for staying in character throughout the whole ordeal, and even on Twitter where she has been roasting Nox left and right:
M8 your comebacks are almost as weak as your knees pic.twitter.com/UpVNcXVabr
— RheaRipley_WWE (@RheaRipley_WWE) October 19, 2018
Admit it: you laughed.
Match rating: Inconclusive.
Finally, we have Mia Yim taking on my personal favorite, Ms. Toni Storm!!
Mia is channeling her inner Auntie Maxine and is here to reclaim her time.
Bell sounds. They jockey, advantage Mia. She delivers some very hard kicks. She then gets Toni against the ropes and chops her so hard my aerolas hurt, but Toni rallies and continues with a knee to the face in the corner. Advantage Toni, who paintbrushes Mia and suplexes Mia for two. Then she stomps Mia’s bad hand. Hard uppercuts from Toni. She goes for the tiger driver, another Kim kick, she then channels her inner Stone Cold Steve Austin and stomps Toni in the corner. Prawn hold, two count. Rest hold.
Toni fights and is brought back down. More kicks and another cover. Mia has focused on Toni’s back and kicks her in a bow and arrow. A hard dropkick from Yim puts Toni down for two. Another rest hold of the front face lock variety with body scissors. Toni powers up and hits a spine buster slam. Drop tie hold, another rest hold, chinlock and then Yes Kicks to the chest, axe kick to the back. Open palm strikes, knees, kicks from Yim, she follows with a Pele kick for two. More kicks to the legs, Toni counters with a kick to the bad hand and then headbutts Mia so hard she went from Toni Storm to Toni Overcast. Boo-yeah hits and a slapfest.
Mia has had enough, hits a knee but Storm is pissed and levels her with a leg-trap snap German, corner hip attack and looks for the tiger driver, but gets a teardrop suplex for her troubles with a bridge for two. Toni retreats to the far corner, Mia chases and meets nobody, Toni goes for a kick and is powerbombed. Prawn hold, two. Mia goes for Sole Food, and Toni grabs her fist and brings her to her knees. Another snap German, Storm Zero, a win.
A show of respect, and while Toni won the match, Mia is also a winner, take a look below:
Congrats to Toni AND Mia! We have Meiko vs Toni and Io vs Rhea next week.
Thoughts: Match of the night. Mia doesn’t play games and her style is fun to watch because it changes based on her opponent. She TOTALLY deserved being signed to WWE, she’s put in the work and it’s showed. Toni, I just love her in the ring. She’s a rock starr. Her moveset isn’t terribly deep, but she moves and wrestles with purpose and she does it well. I like how the hand wasn’t a huge factor until the end and it was played up as a momentary weakness Storm could capitalize on. Very well wrestled match!
Match rating 7/10
Overall: Solid wrestling and storytelling, the story coming out of this round is obviously Tegan Nox’s injury and Mia Yim being signed. I also want to take time to give a shout out to Michael Cole and Beth Phoenix on commentary. Michael is showing the enthusiasm JR should have shown last year, and each episode Beth gets more comfortable. You’re almost kind of forgiven for your burial of the women during 2010-2011, almost. That being said, Renee Young…seems like a lovely lady, but…she adds nothing to the commentary booth. If you took any soundbite she uttered out of the broadcast, it wouldn’t have been hurt in any way. She’s like a David Otunga or Booker T. Panel shows are fine, but commentary, unless it’s a Total Diva or Dean Ambrose, she doesn’t say anything much at all. Chop. I can’t wait to see who makes it to the finals! I haven’t seen spoilers, so I don’t know who wins, I’m excited! Are you? What rating would you give these matches??