The Mae Young Classic semifinals are here! Who between Toni Storm, Meiko Satomura, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai will move on to the finals at WWE Evolution?
- Toni Storm VS Meiko Satomura; Storm wins and advances to WWE Evolution.
- Io Shirai VS Rhea Ripley; Shirai wins and advances to WWE Evolution.
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The second WWE Mae Young Classic is in the homestretch!
A field of 32 became a Sweet Sixteen, became an Elite Eight, and is now a Final Four! That means for 28 other women, the MYC ended in failure, frustration, and even tears. The Lightning from Down Under stormed through the bracket while the living legend proved to be a Final Boss for her opponents. The Genius of the Sky continues to fly while the Aussie with a new attitude dragged opponents under the Riptide. Only two head to the first ever All Women’s PPV this Sunday, which dream match will come true at Evolution?
Toni Storm VS Meiko Satomura!
Storm has been making a name for herself in the United Kingdom Division and all around the world, but Satomura has been making a name for herself since WCW! They had a match with each other back in Japan, but that ended in a draw. The rematch happens as part of this historic tournament, who finally gets the win to move on to the finals?
Toni and Meiko shake hands to show this is a respectful match-up. The bell rings and fans cheer. The two circle and tie up as fans duel. Toni gets a wristlock but Meiko rolls and wrenches back. Toni spins and gets inside to wrench to a hammerlock. Meiko works her way against the hold and gets a headlock. She brings Toni to the mat but Toni keeps her shoulders up. Toni rolls Meiko to a cover, ONE as Meiko rolls it back. Toni slips out the back to get her own headlock, but Meiko rolls Toni. TWO, but Toni brings it back. Meiko gets to a headscissor, but Toni moves around. Toni turns Meiko over and gets the legs, then shifts to a headlock. Meiko stands up and sweeps the legs into her own mount. Toni works against it but Meiko lets her go, only to kick her!
Toni gets mad as she gets up and the two circle again. She kicks Meiko now, and puts on another headlock. Meiko powers out and they collide shoulders. Neither one backs down so Toni goes again. They collide, and neither backs down again. Meiko kicks, uppercuts, runs but Toni follows to boot her down! Cover, ONE, and Meiko rolls away. Toni stays on her with stomps, almost toying with the legend. Toni brings Meiko up for a big headbutt. Then another, then a kick. Cover, TWO! Toni keeps her cool, and she brings Meiko up for a snap suplex. Float over to cover, TWO! Toni drags Meiko up and wrenches the arm before whipping to ropes. Meiko reverses and kicks Toni sharply in the leg. Meiko keeps kicking and Toni gets to ropes.
The referee backs Meiko off, but only for a moment. Meiko gets the leg and kicks away at it, before dropping into a toehold. Meiko goes after both legs for a take on the Figure Four! Toni fights as fans rally, but Meiko hits her down and rolls her over for a full deathlock. Toni gets the ropebreak and Meiko lets her go. Meiko comes back with more kicks, even as Toni gets to a corner. Toni drags herself up but Meiko keeps on her with forearms. Meiko whips Toni corner to corner and runs in for the big forearm smash. She reels Toni in but Toni elbows her away. Toni throws a forearm, then whips Meiko. Meiko comes back with the spinning heel kick! Down goes Toni, but fans rally up on both sides.
Meiko stands Toni up for European Uppercuts, but Toni counters to a backslide! TWO, but Toni’s right on Meiko with a deatlock STF! Meiko endures as Toni pulls on the neck. Fans rally again, and Meiko manages to drag herself and Toni towards ropes. Toni wrenches as hard as she can, fans continue to rally, and Meiko still forces the ropebreak! Toni lets Meiko go and has control over the legend. She stomps Meiko into a corner, then runs corner to corner for the hip attack! Fisherman suplex and bridge! TWO!! Toni stomps Meiko, then kicks her out of the ring. Meiko staggers while Toni builds speed, Toni DIVES! The tope suicida takes Meiko out, but Toni’s own elbow takes some damage. Fans chant “Mae Young Classic!” in appreciation for this action.
Toni drags Meiko up and into the ring. She aims from a corner, and runs for the enziguri! Cover, TWO! Toni grows frustrated, but she keeps on Meiko with a kick across the face. She keeps kicking Meiko but Meiko just gets mad! Toni runs, boots Meiko down, but Meiko is up to boot Toni! Toni boots Meiko again, then whips. Meiko reverses and drives in a knee, then a DDT! Meiko runs, handspring leg drop guillotine! But she isn’t done, she drags Toni back up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!! Meiko is shocked and furious! Meiko decides to finish this another way, and Toni sits up in a daze as Meiko runs in for the kick! But Toni blocks it, and gets a German Suplex! Then double underhook, STORM ZERO!! Cover, TWO!? HOW!? But Full Sail loves it, because “This is Awesome!”
A 10 count begins but Toni gets up first. Toni staggers over, wants another Storm Zero, but Meiko breaks out to Pele! And buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Toni survives again, but in comes the Scorpion Rising kick!! Cover, TWO!?! Full Sail is thunderous as Toni defies Meiko! Meiko lifts Toni, Toni slips out, STORM ZERO AGAIN! Cover, TONI WINS!!
Winner: Toni Storm, by pinfall; advances to the finals at Evolution
Incredible! Storm makes it through the Final Boss, and now moves on to this Sunday! If the Lightning from Down Under can shock the world here, can lightning strike twice as she takes the entire tournament?
Fans show their respect for the living legend as they chant “Thank you, Meiko!” Meiko and Toni show their respect for each other as they bow on their hands and knees. Then as Meiko makes her way up the ramp, Triple H is there to meet her and show his own respect with a handshake and a bow. This is surely not the last we’ve seen of the Joshi Strong Style pioneer, where and when we will see the Final Boss again?
As for Toni, Kairi Sane is here to present her with a bouquet of roses. The Pirate Princess defeated Toni last year to the move on to the finals and win it all, so surely she must be wishing Toni luck on doing the same this year.
In-ring interview with Toni Storm.
Toni repeated as one of the Final Four, and now she is one of the finalists and going to WWE Evolution! How does it feel? Toni hears the fans chant for her, and says “As if I just beat Meiko Satomura, a legend!” She can now stand in this ring and say she is truly living her dream. And it’s all thanks to the girls in the back working their butts off and the fans supporting them all. Now Toni can say she is truly living the dream she was dreaming since she was 10. She thanks the fans, and the fans give her another round of applause. And just as he did for Meiko, HHH appears to shake Toni’s hand at the top of the ramp. But the dream isn’t over yet, can she succeed in winning it all and become the second Mae Young Classic winner?
Io Shirai VS Rhea Ripley!
Shirai is one of World Wonder Ring Stardom’s biggest stars, but that doesn’t impress the upstart Aussie one bit. Io wants to prove she’s one of the world’s best, and winning the MYC would be a big step towards that. Rhea just wants to win and doesn’t care who is in her way. Who meets Toni Storm at Evolution?
Shirai wants a handshake, but Rhea still refuses to show respect as she simply taps the hand. The bell rings and the two tie up. Rhea uses her height and power to push Shirai down. Shirai gets back up and they tie up again. Rhea shoves Shirai down a second time, but Shirai is right back up. Shirai speeds things up, Rhea gets out of the handspring’s way, but the dropkick drops her! Shirai kips up and runs, but into the flapjack toss! Rhea covers, TWO! Rhea kicks Shirai in the head then clubs away on her back. Fans boo and jeer as Rhea stalks and stomps Shirai more. Rhea taunts Shirai at the ropes, then drags her up and around into a seated armlock. Shirai endures as fans rally up.
Shirai kicks Rhea in the face but Rhea rams forearms into ribs! Rhea kicks Shirai while she’s down, then stands on her back. She flexes those guns before stomping Shirai more. She pushes Shirai to a cover, TWO! Rhea keeps her cool as she keeps on Shirai with another seated abdominal stretch. Shirai endures as Rhea clamps a hand on her side. Fans rally as Shirai endures the claw grip. Shirai uses her free hand to punch Rhea off her, but then Rhea rocks Shirai with a right. Rhea rains forearms down, then puts Shirai in the body scissors. She squeezes Shirai, but fans rally up again. Shirai grits her teeth as she works to pry the feet apart. She can’t, so she pushes back to make it a cover, TWO! Rhea clubs Shirai while keeping the body scissors on.
Shirai continues to endure while fans continue to rally. Shirai makes it a cover again, TWO and Rhea lets Shirai go to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! Rhea argues with the ref, but that was the count. Shirai gets to the ropes but Rhea stomps her again. Rhea brings Shirai up and suplexes. She holds Shirai up there for a good 10 seconds or so before dropping Shirai down. Cover, TWO! Rhea goes again, TWO! Frustration builds but Rhea puts the body scissors back on. Fans still chant for Shirai, but Rhea thrashes Shirai around. Shirai endures the squeeze but Rhea mounts and slaps her around. Rhea keeps squeezing Shirai while clubbing her in the back. Fans continue to rally and Shirai reaches. Shirai slips around inside the scissors to get in Rhea’s face with forearms! She goes faster and faster, and gets Rhea to let go.
Both women are down, but fans rally up. Rhea sits up and kicks Shirai even as they’re both on the mat. They both get up and Rhea whips. Shirai turns the powerbomb into a huricanrana pin! TWO, so Shirai runs to dropkick Rhea down! Rhea flounders all the way out of the ring but Shirai fires up. Shirai builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit on Rhea at the ramp! Shirai herself still struggles to get up, and the ring count reaches 6 before she reaches the apron. Rhea yanks Shirai back out, but the count is still refreshed as Rhea leaves Shirai for dead. Shirai flops around at 5, and Rhea thinks she has this. The count reaches 8, Shirai springs up to get in at 9! Rhea is furious, and clubs away with both hands!
Fans boo and jeer but Rhea keeps going as she drags Shirai up. Rhea shouts “Do you think you can stop me?!” Shirai SLAPS Rhea, so Rhea rocks her with a right! Shirai is out as she falls to her knees! Rhea brings Shirai up, suplexes, but Shirai slips out to uppercut! They shout at each other, and Shirai gives uppercut after uppercut! Rhea staggers onto the ropes, Shirai gives her the 619! Shirai keeps going as she climbs up top, and leaps for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Rhea isn’t done, but both women are down. Shirai drags Rhea to a drop zone and fans declare “This is Awesome!”
Shirai hops up but Rhea yanks her off! Rhea sees Shirai is stuck, so she goes over and turns her around. She climbs up to join Shirai, clubbing her with forearms the whole way. Rhea stands on the very top, and gets the SUPERPLEX! She crawls to a cover, TWO!! Shirai lives and Rhea is at a loss for words. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but there will be a winner somehow. Rhea drags Shirai up, pumphandles, but Shirai slips out to shove Rhea into the post! Shirai fires herself up and fans rally up. Shirai runs in at Rhea, meteora! Then with Rhea in the drop zone, Shirai jumps up, ASAI MOONSAULT! Cover, Shirai wins!!
Winner: Io Shirai, by pinfall; advances to the finals at Evolution
The Genius of the Sky triumphs! She and Toni Storm are our MYC 2018 finalists! Rhea may not be happy about it, but losing here doesn’t mean she’s done. As he did for Meiko and Toni, HHH shows his respect to Rhea with handshake at the top of the ramp. When and where will the Riptide strike again?
Just as Kairi did for Toni Storm earlier, she returns to present Io Shirai with a bouquet. Best friends from Stardom get to celebrate Shirai following in Kairi’s footsteps.
In-ring interview with Io Shirai.
Shirai’s WWE debut has been through the MYC 2018, and now she’s in the finals and part of WWE Evolution! How does it feel? “Thank you so much, everyone! I will win, I will be number one! Thank you so much!” Shirai is ready to be the world’s best woman wrestler, but will she be ready for the Storm?
The Mae Young Classic 2018 finalists are on stage!
Triple H gives Io Shirai a handshake and hug to commend her getting this far. He stands with Kairi Sane and Performance Center coach, Sara Amato, as Toni Storm returns to join them. Toni and Shirai see each other for the first time as finalists and future opponents, and give each other a hug to show their respect and camaraderie. The five stand for the fight photo opportunity. It’s hard for Shirai and Storm to be mad at each other given their friendship and the excitement of the moment, but they’ll have to fight on Sunday. Will it be the Genius or the Lightning that wins the second-ever Mae Young Classic?
An excellent episode to wrap up the WWE coverage of the Mae Young Classic! Both matches were so good, but of course they would be given the talents involved and the time allotted to both. I felt it coming that Toni Storm would put on a superhero effort to not just survive Meiko Satomura but to then win. Meanwhile, Io Shirai was the natural choice but Rhea Ripley looked so strong against such an internationally established talent. All four women come out looking so strong even in losing. And luckily for everyone, but mostly WWE, Storm has recovered from her injury that even momentarily forced her to relinquish titles in both the NXT UK Division and wXw Women’s Division. Storm can have her match with Shirai as planned, with no worries about substitutes or kayfabe explanations as to why she couldn’t make it.
However, that said, I’m still hoping for my personal plan of Japanese Strong Style dominating WWE Evolution. If Shirai wins the MYC Finals and Kairi Sane retains the NXT Women’s Championship, we can have a Stardom in NXT story going towards TakeOver: WarGames. Plus, Shayna Baszler can move up to main to join Ronda Rousey, and we can finally try the Four Horsewomen VS Four Horsewomen idea for Survivor Series. But either way, I expect the MYC Finals to be a match that potentially steals the show alongside that NXT Women’s Championship so that any fans who haven’t been watching NXT start watching it.
My Score: 8.8/10