Mae Young Classic Episode Eight – Someone Has to Lose

Mae Young Classic Episode #8
Date: September 4, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Lita

It’s semifinals time and that means we should be in for some nice, long matches. It wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t get a bonus match thrown in as well and that wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Hopefully they can live up to the expectations as the matches have been good but nothing great. The extra time should help a lot so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week.

JR and Lita offer a preview.

Video on Shayna Baszler, who held that choke longer last week to send a message.

Video on Mercedes Martinez, who says this is the culmination of her career. We also see clips of Martinez training Baszler, which offers a very nice bonus aspect to the match. Why wasn’t that mentioned before?

Semifinals: Shayna Baszler vs. Mercedes Martinez

Baszler shakes hands this time. Martinez isn’t as polite and slugs away at Baszler with right hands and chops in the corner. A kick to the ribs is blocked but Martinez just lets it go, seemingly in an attempt to get inside Baszler’s head. The threat of a running kick sets up a chinlock, which isn’t a rear naked choke no matter how much JR seems to think it is.

Baszler sends her into the corner and hammers away before getting two off a gutwrench suplex. A kneebar has Martinez in trouble until she finally kicks away. This time it’s Martinez grabbing a hold of her own with something like a Regal Stretch before they forearm it out from their knees. Baszler gets the better of it but Mercedes fights up into a fisherman’s suplex to put Baszler down. The fisherman’s buster is countered into the rear naked choke and Mercedes finally taps at 8:10.

Rating: B. Baszler winning is the absolute right call, especially with the Four Horsewomen battle coming up. Martinez doesn’t have a background in WWE but they’ve treated her as a major deal, which makes it more impressive to have Baszler beat her. Good match here, which is becoming the trend around here.

They hug post match with Stephanie McMahon (well duh), HHH and Sara Amoto out to congratulate Baszler.

Video on Toni Storm, who is here to win.

Video on Kairi Sane, who promises to win. I was hoping she was here for a flagon of rum and a treasure hunt.

Semifinals: Kairi Sane vs. Toni Storm

Sane takes Toni down and rides her for a bit until Storm slips out of a chinlock. That’s fine with Kairi who hits a running dropkick and starts smiling. Storm goes with a shot to the face for two, only to get pulled to the floor with her back landing on the apron. Kairi adds a big dive to put Storm down again and it’s off to a Boston crab.

The sliding forearm is blocked with some raised boots though (smart) and it’s the running hip attack rocking Kairi. Storm tries another one but takes a clothesline to the ribs (not quite a spear) to cut her off again. They slug it out with Kairi getting the better of it but she gets caught on top. Storm gets two off a fisherman’s suplex.

It’s off to a flip over armbar (ala Tommaso Ciampa) with Toni CRANKING on that thing. Kairi finally rolls over to the other side for two but can’t follow up. Toni’s top rope legdrop hits the back but she bangs herself up at the same time. Kairi kicks her down again and hits the top rope elbow for the pin at 12:24.

Rating: B+. This might have been the best match of the tournament so far, or at least the hardest hitting. Kairi winning was pretty obvious and there was no secret to the fact that it was going to be her vs. Baszler, almost from the beginning. Storm looked great again here and if they don’t sign her, they’re dumber than I thought.

Sane gets the victory celebration as well. Baszler comes out for the showdown with JR getting in the usually awesome summary line: the one with the biggest fight in the dog is fighting the biggest dog in the yard.

Overall Rating: A-. I’m ready for the finals and that’s a good thing. The two matches were both quite good and I want to see the winners beat the heck out of each other next week. They’ve built both of them up as unbeatable, which is what makes for an awesome showdown in the end. Really good good show here and the best thing they’ve done so far.

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