WWE brings back the all-women tournament, The Mae Young Classic! 32 of the best women wrestlers from around the world compete on the road to WWE Evolution!
- Tegan Nox VS Zatara; Nox wins and advances to the second round.
- Rhea Ripley VS MJ Jenkins; Ripley wins and advances to the second round.
- Lacey Lane VS Vanessa Kraven; Lane wins and advances to the second round.
- Killer Kelly VS Meiko Satomura; Satomura wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
Last year, WWE and 32 international women wrestlers made history.
The inaugural Mae Young Classic featured both established veterans and rising stars, and for many, there was crushing despair. But for an elite few, there was triumph and glory. And for two in particular, there was a match that will go down in history. The Queen of Spades, the Pirate Princess, both stars of NXT, were the first two finalists of this historic tournament. In the end, Las Vegas would host the Evolution’s biggest moment yet, and it would be Kairi Sane who would win it all! Kairi and Shayna have battled for the NXT Women’s Championship already, and their battle continues on today.
Therefore, every woman from one side of the bracket to the other, wants to taste that same glory and gold. Five rounds of competition between these 32 hopefuls culminates at the other biggest move in the Women’s (R)Evolution with the All Women PPV, WWE Evolution! In this first round, 16 move on at the expense of 16 others! Who will advance? Who will fall? And what match-ups will we see in the coming weeks? The Mae Young Classic begins again, now!
WWE also makes history with TWO female commentators!
Renee Young and WWE Hall of Fame superstar, Beth Phoenix, have Michael Cole with them as they call the action for this great milestone tournament.
Tegan Nox VS Zatara!
Wales battles Chile as we have another first. Zatara is Chile’s first woman wrestler in the WWE. Zatara carries both her pride and Chile Lucha Libre on her shoulders with her intelligent and technical style. Tegan meanwhile loves British Strong Style and high-flying of her own, just like WWE legend Molly Holly. Tegan missed out last year because of a torn ACL, so now she wants to make the most of her second chance. Neither woman wants to be forgotten in the first round, who will make a major impact in this tournament opener?
The two shake hands to show respect, and the bell rings. Fans are behind Tegan as she ties up with Zatara. Tegan gets a wristlock but Zatara reverses. Tegan loops her way around to reverse back. Zatara reverses back again, but Tegan goes for another reversal. Zatara kicks her down but Tegan kips up. Another kick, another kip up and Tegan bridges and handsprings to get teh reversal. She has a hammerlock but Zatara slips around to pie face Tegan. Zatara kicks and puts Tegan in a corner, then embraces teh heat. She runs in but Tegan goes up and over to arm-drag Zatara around. Tegan runs and headscissors then dropkicks Zatara down! Zatara bails out of the ring, but Tegan pursues, with a fake out!
Tegan dares Zatara to return, but Zatara takes her time. Zatara “applauds” Tegan, and offers another handshake. It’s a trap! Zatara kicks and whips but Tegan reverses. Zatara slides under to trip Tegan up, then runs to hit a sliding knee! She drags Tegan around and ties up the legs in a Queen Angelito stretch. Zatara pulls hair but lets go at 4. Fans rally but Tegan gets a surfboard stomp! Zatara stomps Tegan’s hand then runs to rock her with a dropkick. Cover, TWO, but Zatara keeps her cool. Zatara stalks Tegan to a corner to grind her elbow into Tegan’s chin. Zatara wrenches the bad knee on the ropes, but backs off at 4. She runs side to side to dropkick the leg! Tegan falls and Zatara drags her around again. Zatara puts on a modified deathlock!
Fans rally up for Tegan and she drags herself towards ropes. She also hammers away on Zatara, then gets the ropebreak! Zatara lets Tegan out of the “Chilean Deathlock”, to then mule kick Tegan. Zatara runs but Tegan follows and dodges to fire off forearms and European Uppercuts. Tegan rallies, even as that leg bothers her. Fans rally with her and she gives Zatara a big EuroUpper in the corner. Zatara staggers into a swing kick, then Tegan climbs up. Tegan aims, and hits a big crossbody! Cover, TWO! Tegan is close, but she has to get that leg moving again.
Tegan runs into Zatara’s boot, and then Zatara climbs. Zatara hits a missile dropkick! Tegan flounders to a corner, Zatara runs in for double knees! Zatara covers, TWO! Fans fire up for Tegan but Zatara grows frustrated. Zatara vows to end this, and runs, but misses her shining wizard. Tegan gives her the SHINIEST Wizard! Cover, Tegan wins!
Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall; advances to the second round
Second chances are all you need, because Tegan moves on to the next round! Will her bad leg be a target for her next opponent like it was for Zatara? Or will Tegan enroll someone else in the School of Hard Nox?
Rhea Ripley VS MJ Jenkins!
The Aussie has a new attitude as she returns from competing in last year’s MYC, as she only made it to the second round before being kicked out by Dakota Kai. She’s flipped the switch from “fool” to fury, and promises to use this new darker and better persona to rip her opponents apart. Speaking of her opponent, the “Afrolicious” MJ from NYC wants to take the MYC over. She is honored to be here, because last year, she watched and just knew that’s where she belonged. Strength, beauty and sass, which woman will blow everyone’s minds in this opening round?
Fans like Rhea, but aren’t happy Rhea doesn’t shake MJ’s hand. The bell rings and Rhea pie faces MJ. MJ doesn’t take kindly to that, and things speed up. MJ arm-drags Rhea around, even with a springboard one! She runs at Rhea in a corner but Rhea puts her on the apron. MJ hits back then springboards but Rhea dropkicks her out of the air! Rhea drags MJ up and in, covers, ONE. Rhea drags MJ up and throws her down by her hair. She dropkicks MJ again, then covers, TWO. Fans duel now as MJ fights back. Rhea clubs MJ down, then toys with her. MJ hits back with body shots but Rhea clubs her down again. Rhea drags MJ up by her afro then whips, to club MJ back down with a clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Rhea is enjoying herself now.
Rhea clubs MJ again, then kicks her while she’s down. MJ crawls to ropes, but Rhea bumps her off buckles. Rhea stomps a mudhole into MJ, then backs off at the ref’s count of 4. Rhea comes back and suplexes MJ way up. She holds her there, for about a count of 15, then slams her down. Cover, TWO! Rhea keeps her cool as she looms over MJ. MJ fights back but still gets clubbed down. Fans rally up as Rhea puts MJ in a standing abdominal stretch. MJ feeds off the fans but Rhea grinds in her elbow and thrashes around. MJ endures and works her way out of the hold. She hip tosses Rhea down, but runs into a flapjack! Cover, TWO! Now Rhea grows frustrated, as she covers again. TWO, another cover, TWO!
Rhea almost blows a fuse, but she toys with MJ now. MJ powers up with a scream, and fires off forearms of her own! She even gives Rhea a sharp back hand! MJ rallies on Rhea, runs and barrels in with a shoulder! Fans fire up as MJ shimmies and shakes. MJ runs corner to corner, but Rhea dodges. Rhea runs in but into buckles, then she gets a roundhouse. MJ springboards for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! MJ is shocked, but fans are still on her side. Fans rally up again and MJ swings a kick. Rhea ducks it, pumphandle powerbomb! Cover, Rhea wins!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall; advances to the second round
MJ was impressive, but Rhea was just a bit too much. Will Rhea rip it up and reach the finals this time?
Lacey Lane VS Vanessa Kraven!
Little Lacey Lane finds herself going against a woman who proudly refers to herself as The Mountain. Kraven is both beauty and beast as she chops hard and throws hard. But Lacey is another graduate of Team 3D’s wrestling school, so she already knows a lot about “hard” wrestling. Will the scrappy pitbull find herself becoming vicious Vanessa’s play thing? Or will the home-state heroine give Vanessa more than she can handle in this early round?
Lacey and Vanessa shake hands, and the bell rings on the female David VS Goliath. Lacey ducks and kicks, keeping out of Vanessa’s reach. But Vanessa does get her hands on Lacey and puts her in a corner. Lacey escapes and goes for a roll-up, but Vanessa is just too tall! Vanessa stomps but Lacey evades again, to try a crucifix. Vanessa stays standing again, even as Lacey shifts to a sunset flip, but Lacey again avoids a stomp. Lacey kicks from the mat, and Vanessa is rocked! Lacey fires up but Vanessa shoves her away. Vanessa runs but Lacey dodges to roundhouse high. Lacey keeps on Vanessa in a corner with forearms, then goes acrobatic to arm-drag Vanessa out!
However, Lacey has a rough landing of her own, and the referee has to check on both of them. Lacey keeps going and handspring kicks Vanessa down. Lacey won’t stop, and goes to the apron. Vanessa swings a kick but Lacey cartwheels over to then mule kick Vanessa back. Vanessa staggers, and Lacey leaps! But she’s caught, into an apron snake eyes! Vanessa suplexes Lacey up, hangs her up in the Tree of Woe, and chops her! She kicks Lacey out of the tree and into the ring. Vanessa drags Lacey to a corner and grinds her boot into Lacey’s head. The referee counts and Vanessa backs off at 4, to come back in with a cannonball! Cover, TWO! Vanessa quickly grows frustrated with Lacey, and drags her up by her dreadlocks. She has Lacey on the ropes, for a SHARP chop!
Vanessa’s grin is truly sinister as she chops Lacey again. Vanessa lifts Lacey into a Canadian torture rack, and bends Lacey. Fans rally and Lacey fights out. Lacey uses the ropes but gets caught again. Vanessa lifts but Lacey fights out of the choke slam to then jawbreaker Vanessa back. Lacey kicks and kicks to mule kick Vanessa! She hits a big forearm smash, then runs corner to corner for a step-up knee! Lacey fires off but Vanessa denies the whip. Vanessa shoves Lacey down but Lacey keeps hitting back. Lacey tries another whip but Vanessa reels her in for a scrapbuster! Cover, TWO!! Even Vanessa is surprised! Fans rally up for Lacey as she gets to a corner. Lacey elbows and boots Vanessa away, then dodges the cannonball! Vanessa staggers up and Lacey fires off. Lacey sicks and moves, and gets the Crucifix Bomb! Lacey wins!!
Winner: Lacey Lane, by pinfall; advances to the second round
David conquers Goliath and Lacey climbs The Mountain! With such a big victory, can Lacey use this momentum to climb all the way to the top?
Backstage interview with Natalya.
The Queen of Harts is so excited to be here. It’s an incredible feeling to be around so many other women who share the same passion for wrestling. Natty feels so excited to see so many inspiring role models like the competitors. The finals will be at WWE Evolution, so who does Natty think will make it there? Her two choices are Mia Yim, another repeat competitor, and Io Shirai, the Stardom mega star. Both are incredibly talented but as are all these women. Will Natty’s prediction come true?
Killer Kelly VS Meiko Satomura!
Portugal’s first female wrestler in the WWE finally gets the global exposure she was after with this tournament. She promises those who hadn’t heard of her will know her now. Kelly’s style is “straightforward,” from bell to bell with strikes and submissions that will hurt. Kelly’s ready to do whatever she has to in order to win. But she’s up against a living legend from Japan. Satomura started 22 years ago at just the age of 16, in WCW’s own Women’s Division. She didn’t win that first night, but she forged herself to become a truly amazing wrestler. She returns to the state to bring an even bigger revolution. Will rising star get the upset of the “Final Boss”? Or will a legend’s legacy only grow through this tournament?
The two shake hands to show deep respect. The bell rings and the two circle. Meiko tests Kelly with kicks, and is even ready for Kelly’s own kicks. Kelly has to back up quick to avoid those legs! They circle again and Kelly calls for a test of strength. Meiko accepts the challenge, and quickly spins to a wristlock takedown! She has Kelly grounded with the keylock, but Kelly manages to slip around to a waistlock. Kelly slams Meiko, covers, TWO. The fans love this already as the two tie up again. Meiko gets a headlock and a takeover. Kelly avoids a cover as she goes for headscissors but Meiko keeps out of that. Kelly gets another headscissor but Meiko bridges to prevent a cover. Meiko rolls around and pops to headbutt Kelly! She then rocks Kelly with a forearm as she has the butterfly leglock.
Meiko then shifts to another headlock, but Kelly headscissors again. Meiko pops out and the two stand off, and fans love this exchange. Kelly gets around to a dragon sleeper, but Meiko spins around to kick Kelly in the chest. Meiko runs but misses in the corner and Kelly hits her back. Kelly runs and bicycle boots Meiko down! Cover, TWO! Kelly was close to an upset, so she keeps on Meiko with the leg half of a surfboard. She grabs for arms but Meiko fights her way out. Kelly stomps Meiko down then gives her another hard foreaarm. Kelly whips but Meiko goes up to jump and arm-drag into a Half Boston Crab! She drops down into an STF! Kelly can barely see as she drags herself for ropes. Kelly manages the ropebreak, and Meiko lets go at 4.
Meiko comes back in to give forearms to the back and shoulders. Meiko backs off again, and waits for Kelly to return. Kelly kicks but is countered into a takedown. Meiko gives kick after kick, then drags Kelly up for an arm wrench and MORE kicks! Meiko sweeps the legs and drops the knees! Cover, TWO! Kelly is reeling but fans are rallying behind Meiko. Meiko kicks Kelly again! Kelly blocks this one, to suplex! She holds Meiko up for a big slam! Cover, TWO! Fans applaud, it means a lot for Kelly to last this long. Kelly drags Meiko up and mule kicks her. She runs, but her boot misses. Meiko mule kicks and European Uppercuts. Meiko runs to cartwheel kick Kelly down!
Fans are thunderous as Meiko drags Kelly to the dropzone. She climbs up but Kelly stops her. Kelly climbs up to join Meiko, but Meiko holds on and fights out. Kelly grabs the arm and a dragon sleeper, for the HANGING choke! They sit back up and Kelly drags Meiko to a Tree of Woe. Meiko sits down and Kelly goes conrer to corner, for a hesitation dropkick! Kelly keeps going, Fisherman suplex! Bridge cover, TWO!? That was so shockingly close, but “This is Awesome!” Kelly gets over her shock and drags Meiko up for a forearm. She waistlocks but Meiko fights out again to PELE! Both women are down but fans keep firing up. Meiko fires herself up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, Meiko wins!
Winner: Meiko Satomura, by pinfall; advances to the second round
This match was an embodiment of Joshi Strong Style, and it truly means a lot for Kelly to have pushed the legend to her limits. Meiko shows Kelly respect, and Kelly shows it back. This was just the first main event of many in this tournament, will Meiko find herself in THE main event? Who will meet The Final Boss there?
An exceptional opener for this second year of the Mae Young Classic. The opening package to briefly recap the original tournament was great, and it’s great to have both Renee Young and Beth Phoenix on commentary. I would’ve put Mauro Ranello where Michael Cole is, but whatever, having a main roster show commentator like him makes this whole thing come off as more important to the company. All four matches were great and naturally escalated up the card, as you would hope a match card does.
Nox VS Zatara was a good opener to both tonight and the tournament, but I wonder if “Maggle” choosing Nox as his winner means she won’t go very far. They also mention Dakota Kai as a friend of hers, I wonder if that means we’ll be getting more of Team Kick in NXT. Rhea Ripley’s new attitude is great, and because of this transformation, it makes sense she wins this time. Maggle misspoke, Rhea didn’t make it to the quarterfinals, though she did lose to Dakota Kai. Perhaps this time she will make it to the quarterfinals, as the first time she and Tegan meet will be there. However, if that happens, I have a feeling Rhea loses there as a nod to Dakota defeating her last year.
Lane VS Kraven was great, but I was afraid maybe Lacey had hurt herself with that arm-drag spot. It’s great Lacey wins in front of her family and friends being that she’s from Florida. I bet she’ll go to the quarterfinals, and she has a great look and style that can definitely do well in the NXT Women’s Division. She has Ember Moon vibes, I wonder if they’d team together once both are on main… And then that main event really was the best of the night, Satomura VS Kelly really heats things up for just the opening round. Naturally Meiko wins, because the MYC is smart and respectful enough to consider her international fame. I can’t wait to see who else she faces, and what it will take for someone to defeat her.
My Score: 8.5/10