Kaitlyn’s return to the WWE continues, but will it come to an end against the equally reinvented Mia Yim? Plus, more of Io Shirai, Genius of the Sky!
- Zeuxis VS Io Shirai; Shirai wins and advances.
- Deonna Purrazzo VS Xia Li; Purrazzo wins and advances.
- Tegan Nox VS Nicole Matthews; Nox wins and advances.
- Kaitlyn VS Mia Yim; Yim wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
We’re almost done with the Sweet Sixteen!
The first half of the Elite Eight are in, but now we will determine the second half. Who joins underdog Lacey Lane, returning Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley, and living legend Meiko Satomura in the quarterfinals of the second-ever WWE Mae Young Classic?
Zeuxis VS Io Shirai!
Mexico collides with Japan as the Aztec Goddess takes on the Genius of the Sky! Zeuxis used power and aggression to end Aerial Monroe’s run, while Shirai was simply too experienced and skilled for the young Xia Brookside. Who will fly higher than the heavens and ascend into the quarterfinals?
The wildest thing about this match up: both women were all over Japan, yet have never met in the ring. We get a first-time-ever match up right here on the WWE Network! The two shake hands out of respect, but also get up close to make it clear neither is going to go easy on the other. The bell rings and we begin!
Fans are on Shirai’s side but Zeuxis shrugs it off. She and Shirai tie up and Zeuxis powers Shirai to the ropes. They break and circle again. They tie up and Shirai whips and arm-drags Zeuxis. Things speed up and Shirai dropkicks Zeuxis right out of the ring! Fans love the speed of Shirai as she puts Zeuxis back in. Shirai slingshots but Zeuxis forearms her down, then dropkicks her all the way! Shirai clutches her shoulder but Zeuxis just shrugs. Zeuxis waits for Shirai to answer the ring count. Shirai is up and in at 5, but Zeuxis kicks that bad arm. Zeuxis puts it on the ropes to kick the arm, then she snapmares Shirai into a short arm scissor. Shirai endures as Zeuxis pulls. It becomes a cover, TWO, and Zeuxis keeps the hold.
Fans rally and Shirai powers her way up. Zeuxis lets go so she can kick Shirai to a corner, and then kick that shoulder! Zeuxis runs corner to corner for meteora in the corner! Cover, TWO! Zeuxis keeps her cool as she drags Shirai back up. Shirai hits back with her good arm, but Zeuxis kicks the bad arm. Zeuxis runs but Shirai follows to sweep the legs! Shirai hurries back up to slingshot dropkick Zeuxis to a corner. Shirai grinds both boots into Zeuxis, but stops at 4 to hit the swniging meteora! Then she goes corner to corner for a running meteora! Zeuxis holds ropes as Shirai tries to drag her out. Shirai has to let her go and Zeuxis bails out of the ring. Fans fire up and Shirai builds speed, to DIVE! The Suicide Dive takes Zeuxis out at the ramp!
Shirai fires up, even with that bad arm, and puts Zeuxis back in. Cover, TWO! Shirai grows frustrated, but she keeps on Zeuxis with a hold of her own. She puts on a crossface but Zeuxis powers up and out, to pumphandle and slam! Cover, TWO! Zeuxis drags Shirai over to a drop zone and climbs, moonsault flops as Shirai evades. Shirai dropkicks Zeuxis right in the head! Shirai climbs up but Zeuxis trips her up and sideways! Zeuxis climbs up, drags Shirai up and wants her Delzura. But Shirai fights back and uppercuts! Zeuxis sits, Shirai come around, SUPER STEINER! But Shirai isn’t done, she runs for meteora to the back! Then she positions Zeuxis in the drop zone, for her asai moonsault! Cover, Shirai wins!
Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall; advances to the quarterfinals
The Genius of the Sky continues to fly and is now one of the Elite Eight! And she will soon know her opponent, after this next match!
Deonna Purrazzo VS Xia Li!
Styles collide as the Fujiwara Armbar Specialist takes on the swift striking superstar from the East. The Virtuosa made the gypsy princess, Priscilla Kelly, tap out while Xia literally kicked Karen Q out of the tournament, whose style will bring them their second victory in this second round?
Purrazzo and Li shake hands and even bow to show respect. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up as fans rally up. Purrazzo flips Li but Li lands on her feet to wristlock back. Purrazzo reverses and gets the headlock takeover. Li headscissors out but Purrazzo rolls to headstand and pop out. The Virtuosa bows and then gets Li in the drop toehold. Purrazzo gets La Mahistrol, TWO but she wants the armbar! Li rolls and kicks the leg. She bobs ‘n’ weaves to kick more, then runs to thrust kick Purrazzo down. Li even adds an ax kick leg drop and an elbow drop! Cover, TWO, but Li keeps on Purrazzo. Li whips but Purrazzo reverses. Purrazzo runs in but into Li’s thrust kick! Li hops up and leaps for a dynamic missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Li grits her teeth and runs, but into a hip toss. Purrazzo handsprings and dropkicks Li down, then covers, TWO! Purrazzo keeps her cool as she wrenches and tweaks Li’s arm between the boots. She wrenches and uppercuts the elbow to then lariat Li down. Cover, TWO! Purrazzo keeps focus as she brings Li up. Fans rally and Li fights back with palm strikes. Purrazzo mule kicks and runs to knee lift into the Russian leg sweep! Then she rolls, into the Fujiwara Armbar! Li moves around to roll it up, TWO! Purrazzo kicks and armbar DDT’s Li down. Cover, TWO! Purrazzo keeps on the arm with a grounded keylock. Li endures while fans rally up. Li sits up and arm-drags Purrazzo off. Purrazzo swings but runs into Li’s dropkick! Both women are down but fans applaud this even match-up.
Fans build to another rally as Purrazzo heads back over. She chops Li but Li chops back. We get a chop fight as they go back and forth. Purrazzo throws forearms, fires up, but Li gives her forearms back. Li eggs Purrazzo on but Purrazzo blocks the kick. Purrazzo flips Li but Li lands on her feet to roundhouse Purrazzo! Cover, TWO!! Li grows frustrated while Purrazzo gets tot he corner. Li shouts she’s the spicy one, but then misses her corner boot. She still mule kicks Purrazzo away, but then leaps into the Fujiwara!! Purrazzo shifts into a DOUBLE Fujiwara! Li taps out, Purrazzo wins!
Winner: Deonna Purrazzo, by submission; advances to the quarterfinals
The Virtuosa moves on after making it through the spicy fire of Xia Li! But now, she’ll face the Genius of the Sky, Io Shirai, in the next round! Has Deonna’s return to the WWE already met its end? Or will she shock the world when she overcomes one of Stardom’s best ever?
Tegan Nox VS Nicole Matthews!
Wales collides with Canada as two alternates from the inaugural May Young Classic look to make the best of their second chance. Will Nicole find herself enrolling in the School of Hard Nox? Or will not even the Shiniest Wizard be enough to stop her from advancing?
Matthews shakes Nox’s hand, but perhaps she might be more sarcastic in her praise of her opponent. She does point out the bad leg of Nox’s, saying something about the leg brace. Nox checks it, but that leaves her open to Matthews clubbing her from behind! Fans boo but Matthews doesn’t care. She clubs Nox more, then spins for the discus, but Nox blocks that to fire off fast hands! Matthews bails out, so Nox shows how that leg feels by building speed. Nox DIVES, into a right hand from Matthews! Matthews puts Nox back in the ring, then drags her up into the ropes to kick away at the chest! Nox falls back and Matthews covers, TWO!
Nox gets to a corner but Matthews is on her with chops. Matthews whips Nox to send her back into the same corner, and then adds a dropkick! Nox falls, Matthews covers, TWO! Matthews grows frustrated but keeps on Nox. Fans rally up for “Tegan! Tegan!” but Matthews kicks her stiff on the back. Matthews mocks Nox but Nox just gets mad. Nox snapmares and kicks Matthews in return! She brings Matthews up but Matthews snapmares and kicks her again. Matthews drags Nox up to elbow away on the chest. Then she wraps Nox up in the straitjacket and pulls her back across the knee. Fans rally up and Nox powers her way up, only for Matthews to clothesline her down. Matthews Northern Lights suplex with the bridge, TWO!
Nox gets to ropes while Matthews cools off. Matthews goes after the legs but Nox kicks her away. Nox gets up an dfires forearms and European Uppercuts. Nox runs, but into a takedown! Matthews wants the Crab but Nox rolls her in a small cradle! TWO, Nox headbutts Matthews to a corner! Nox staggers but shakes the stars out to cannonball! Her leg feels weak but Nox still uses it for a SHINIEST WIZARD! Cover, Nox wins!!
Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall; advances to the quarterfinals
The underdog gets it done! The Shiniest Wizard is even stronger thanks to that knee brace, and Nox knocks Matthews out of the tournament! However, Nox is going up against the ruthless Rhea Ripley next round, will her and her bad leg survive?
Kaitlyn VS Mia Yim!
The final match of the Sweet Sixteen features the two big return stories of the entire tournament! Kaitlyn wants to get back to the WWE and show she’s still got it, but the rougher and tougher Blasian Baddie wants to show she deserves to be here now. Which comeback kid will crush the other’s dream in order to continue on towards WWE Evolution?
Mia’s hand is heavily taped, because it still isn’t 100% from chopping a post instead of Allysin Kay’s chest. The two shake hands, and Mia doesn’t want to hold it too long. The bell rings and they tie up. They go around and Mia puts Kaitlyn on the ropes. Fans duel as Mia lets Kaitlyn go. Mia chops Kaitlyn! It hurts them both, but Mia powers through to whip. Kaitlyn dodges and dropkicks the legs out. She keeps going and hits a sliding lariat, then a leg drop. She hits another leg drop, then another. Cover, ONE, and Mia gets to a corner. Kaitlyn fires up and hits the cannonball! She drags Mia to a cover, ONE! Kaitlyn keeps her focus as she puts Mia in body scissors. Mia backs up to make it a cover, ONE, and Kaitlyn keeps the squeeze on.
Kaitlyn rolls Mia to a cover, ONE. She goes again, ONE! She tries a third time, TWO! Kaitlyn is close, so she keeps on the squeeze. Mia grinds her elbow into the legs and gets free. Kaitlyn powers her away and Mia bails out. Kaitlyn runs but her baseball slide misses. Mia makes her pay for it by slamming the leg on the apron! Kaitlyn rolls away, clutching the knee. Mia goes after it with swift kicks and a leg DDT! Cover, ONE, but Mia grabs the leg for the inverted Figure Four. Mia pulls for a standing Figure Four Kneebar! Kaitlyn endures so Mia lets her go to rain down forearms! Mia rocks her with an even harder right! Kaitlyn eggs Mia on, so Mia punches, but misses and hits the mat! Now Kaitlyn grounds and pounds Mia in return, and goes after the bad hand!
Kaitlyn pulls back on the wrist and fingers, but Mia endures the torture. She throws the hand down but lets Mia go. She drags Mia up but Mia makes it a crossbody, TWO! Mia clutches her hand but still sits Kaitlyn up for a kick. Cover, TWO! Kaitlyn sits up and Mia runs, but into a big tackle! Both women are down but stirring as fans rally up. Kaitlyn aims at Mia, dodges and hits back with forears. She whips and elbows Mia down, but she’s not done. Kaitlyn scoop slams Mia, then scoop slams again. Mia wants mercy for her bad hand. She tries a sucker punch, but ends up in a scoop, for the Gunn Slinger side slam! Cover, TWO!!
Mia survives and gets herself to a corner, but Kaitlyn runs in. Mia dodges and Kaitlyn hits buckles. Kaitlyn staggers into Sole Food! Cover, TWO!! Kaitlyn survives and Mia can’t believe it! Mia shrieks while fans duel. Mia grits her teeth as she drags Kaitlyn up. Kaitlyn resists the German Suplex and then elbows the bad hand! Mia loses her grip, Kaitlyn runs, SPEAR! Cover, TWO!?! Mia survives the Spear?! Kaitlyn can’t believe it but Full Sail loves it! Kaitlyn stomps at the bad hand but ends up in a Kneebar!! She reaches for ropes as Mia pulls back. She can’t get anywhere, she taps and Mia wins!!
Winner: Mia Yim, by submission; advances to the quarterfinals
A bad hand wasn’t enough to stop the Blasian Baddie! Mia toughs it out and ends the comeback for Kaitlyn. However, Mia now faces a storm in the next round, as in Toni Storm. Which return story survives into the semifinals?
Fans show respect to Kaitlyn with a “Thank you, Kaitlyn!” chant. Mia also gives Kaitlyn a hug of respect, because she is also thankful for Kaitlyn’s part in the Women’s (R)Evolution. Will the third time be the charm for Kaitlyn? Or is this second time in the WWE not done just because she lost?
An incredible night for the Mae Young Classic! I did not expect Io Shirai to open the night, but it was really great to see her and Zeuxis in their apparent first-ever match up anywhere. Of course, I expected Io Shirai to win, it’s Io Shirai. Seeing Shirai VS Purrazzo next round is going to be great. Purrazzo VS Li here was a lot of fun, and Li came out of it looking really strong. I hope Li gets to do more on NXT in the coming days. Purrazzo herself has done great everywhere she’s been, and Purrazzo VS Shirai could’ve easily been a finals match itself. I’m still betting on Shirai to give WWE Evolution two big stars of Stardom on that historic PPV.
Nox VS Matthews was good, and the story was pretty clear with the more experienced Matthews not taking Nox as serious. That of course backfires and Nox wins. Now Nox and Rhea Ripley will have a really good match of younger stars, and it’ll really put Nox to the test given her bad leg and Ripley’s new mean streak. I have a feeling that with Lacey Lane facing Meiko Satomura and certainly losing, Nox might be able to get through as the last real underdog of this tournament. Of course, underdog stories might not matter come the semifinals so Ripley might go through. Then Mia VS Kaitlyn was a surprisingly amazing main event. Kaitlyn obviously looks strong, but it was really great that Mia won. Kaitlyn has enough legacy that she could retain to main now if she really wanted, the MYC’s meant for stars new to the WWE Universe.
My Score: 8.6/10