The quarter-final line-up gets rounded up in the sixth episode of the Mae Young Classic.
You know the drill by now: Mauro Ranallo does the opening video, JR and Lita’s on commentary, and we’re still inside Full Sail! Ronda Rousey and Jessamyn Duke are showing arriving as one of our matches today features another of MMA’s Four Horsewomen.
Mae Young Classic – Second Round: Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans
Storm opens up on offence as the pair trade headlocks and headscissors, but Evans wasn’t interested in glad-handing… only to run into a kick to the chest as Storm worked her way into the hip attacks.
Evans counters one into a roll-up as she collected some near-falls, before a 619 around the ringpost caught Storm in the back ahead of a slingshot elbow drop. It’s all Evans for a while as she trips Storm and begins to stretch her over the knee, only for the Aussie to get free and catch her in the corner with a back cracker. More hip attacks follow as Storm had to fight out of a belly-to-back piledriver, escaping the once-named Jig n Tonic with a sunset flip. Instead, Toni goes for the neckbreaker slam, and that gets her the win. Decent, but something here felt lacking… Storm’s got Piper Niven in the quarter-finals, and that should be special! **¾
Mae Young Classic – Second Round: Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler
There’s a moment where “wrestling’s” Four Horsewomen stood up to Shayna during her entrance – but save for getting a few oohs from the crowd, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Bayley did nothing.
Yim’s the clear crowd favourite, as she gives and receives kicks to the legs early on, before trying for an Eat Defeat early. Shayna’s kicks have an effect though, taking Mia down… but she falls into a roll-up for a one-count before some headscissors took Shayna to the outside… and right into the path of a tope!
Yim returns those kicks, but another Eat Defeat’s blocked as Baszler takes her down into a heel hook, before throwing Mia around with gutwrench suplexes. A tarantula follows as Mia gets some hope, but after kicking out of a cannonball, Yim instantly goes for an ankle lock… only for an instant rope break. More kicks from Mia end with a Pele kick for a two-count, but another cannonball is stopped in its tracks as a knee lift gets Shayna two-count.
A German suplex gets Mia another two-count after she escaped a suplex, but a second one is again countered into an ankle lock… with Shayna this time scissoring the legs… but not enough as Yim kicks her way free once more. Mia keeps up by catching a kick and turning it into a sit-out powerbomb for a two-count… before she goes for a 450 splash and lands into a rear naked choke as Shayna forces the submission from out of nowhere. That was special – Yim’s been good for a long time, albeit somehow under the radar. She may be out of the tournament, but hopefully this isn’t the end for Mia. ***½
Shayna’ll face either Candice LeRae or Nicole Savoy in the quarter-finals after her second submission win in a row.
After the match, Shayna stares down the wrestling horsewomen – and we get a tease across the aisle between the wrestling and MMA horsewomen. Now it’s over to Charly in the 3D studio for some more recap ahead of our next match.
Mae Young Classic – Second Round: Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai
This Australia vs. New Zealand contest starts with Rhea and Kai working each others wrists, before some slightly-hesitating armdrags and a dropkick puts Kai in the driver’s seat.
A diving PK gets Kai a near-fall, before she backdrops Ripley to the outside… only for an attempted kick to get caught as Rhea drags Dakota face-first onto the edge of the apron. That’s good for a two-count, before Ripley hits a kick to the back, then a diving dropkick to drill Dakota for another near-fall.
Kai fights back with an O’Connor roll with a bridge, but Ripley sends her high into the sky with a huge flapjack as they traded two-counts, before Kai escapes a full nelson slam with an overhead kick. After blocking a series of kicks, Ripley eats a back heel kick as Dakota roared back into life, hitting a face-washing boot in the corner.
Ripley’s Northern Lights gets her a two-count, and that seems to inspire her into going for a superplex… but instead she’s knocked into a Tree of Woe as Kai crashes down into her with a double stomp for the win! A fun outing with Kai having to come from behind to book her quarter-final spot – add this to that increasing list of matches I want to see again! ***½
Dakota Kai’s got Kairi Sane in the quarter-finals… and I fear that’ll be where her tournament ends.
Mae Young Classic – Second Round: Candice LeRae vs. Nicole Savoy
After the “Queen of Suplexes” edged past Reina Gonzalez in the first round without throwing a single one… it’ll be interesting to see how Savoy’s second round goes.
Savoy kicks away the offer of a handshake, before missing a charge in the corner early as LeRae’s leaping DDT gets a two-count as Candice’s forced to utilise her speed. A back suplex folds up Candice for a two-count, and it’s clear Savoy’s going after her neck and back, following up with a seated surfboard stretch.
Savoy’s knee rocks LeRae, but Candice is able to fight back… only to get nonchalantly pulled off the top rope as Nicole tries for a cross armbreaker. Candice escapes, but her springboard off the rope’s caught and turned into a German suplex for a near-fall. An attempted Dragon suplex is blocked, and Candice manages to follow in with an Octopus stretch… only for Savoy to charge her into the corner for freedom.
A diving forearm knocks LeRae down, before she pulls her onto the top rope… but the superplex is fought out of and Candice hits the Wild Ride neckbreaker off the top for the win! Short, but pretty decent as Savoy’s tournament comes to an end… and I have to say, I’ve seen better from her, to the point where I’m wondering if this wasn’t down to the ring rust caused by her recent return from a knee injury. **¾
Candice gets Shayna Baszler in the quarters… and that’s a rather poisoned chalice, I feel!
So, that’s the second round sorted – we’ve now got two shows left for the quarter- and semi-finals. They are:
Abbey Laith vs. Mercedes Martinez
Candice LeRae vs. Shayna Baszler
Kairi Sane vs. Dakota Kai
Piper Niven vs. Toni Storm
Laith/Martinez vs. LeRae/Baszler
Sane/Kai vs Niven/Storm
…and with a rather rushed sign-off, that’s all for episode six – some decent action in the second round, but it’s onward from here as we get to the real meat of the Mae Young Classic!