Powell’s WWE Mae Young Classic Review: Episode Six featuring the final second round tournament matches

By Jason Powell

WWE Mae Young Classic
Aired on WWE Network
Taped on July 13-14 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

A video package recapped the previous episode with Kairi Sane, Mercedes Martinez, Piper Niven, and Abbey Laith advancing to the quarterfinals. This episode will feature the remainder of the second round matches with Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans, Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai, and Nicole Savoy vs. Cancie LeRae… The MYC opening video aired…

The broadcast team of Jim Ross and Lita checked in from their desk on the stage. Footage aired of Ronda Rousey and Jessamyn Duke walking outside the venue. Ross said they were there to support Baszler. Ross and Lita previewed the additional matches… A video package set up the opening match…

1. Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans in a second round match. Evans went for her finisher at one point, but Storm was able to avoid it. Evans performed a neckbreaker and tried to roll over onto Storm, who raised her knees. Storrm followed up with her Strong Zero finisher and scored the clean pin. Storm will face Piper Niven in the quarterfinals…

Toni Storm defeated Lacey Evans to advance to the quarterfinals.

Powell’s POV: Storm is the type of wrestler who can win over an unfamiliar crowd before the bell simply because she shows so much charisma during her entrance. And it’s not an elaborate entrance, unlike that of Evans, who looks like she performs the first half of a burlesque dance before the bell even rings. I’m still not a fan of Evans going with this throwback look when she has so many other more marketable qualities such as being a mother and a U.S. Marine.

A video package set up the Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler match. Yim spoke about traveling the world with the goal of becoming the best. Baszler said it’s a different audience for what she does, but she’s simply doing what she always does. She said no one can throw anything at her that she hasn’t seen. However, Yim said she is going to surprise Baszler…

2. Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler in a second round match. Ross called Baszler a destroyer of dreams. Baszler came out and walked past Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Bayley, who were in the front row. Lynch and Charlotte held up four fingers while Ross noted that there were two factions of Four Horsewomen in attendance. Baszler’s crew was located on the other side of the entrance aisle. Yim offered her left hand, but Baszler did not accept the pre-match handshake. The women traded kicks. Yim went for Eat Defeat, but Baszler avoided it with a kick. Baszler threw more kicks at a seated Yim, who rolled her up for a two count.

Yim connected with a suicide dive that got a rise out of the crowd. Back inside the ring, Baszler once again stuffed an Eat Defeat attempt, then showed impressive strength with a couple of gut wrench suplexes that led to a two count. Yim applied the Tarantula on the ropes briefly, then performed a cannonball in the corner. Baszler went for a leg hold, but Yim grabbed the ropes to break it. Yim performed some palm streaks and then performed an overhead kick for a two count. Later, Baszler rolled Yim into an ankle lock and prevented her from getting to the ropes. Yim rolled over and kicked herself free. Yim came back with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. The fans chanted “women’s wrestling.” Yim went up top for a 450 splash, but Baszler put her knees up and applied a “rear naked sleeper” for the win…

Shayna Baszler defeated Mia Yim to advance to the quarterfinals.

After the match, Baszler posed with Rousey and friends at ringside. She then turned toward Bayley, Charlotte, and Lynch and held up four fingers at them. “I’d buy that,” Lita said of a potential match between the Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen match…

Powell’s POV: A fun match. Baszler was positioned as the favorite, but Yim was given a good amount of offense and had a good showing. Yim (a/k/a Jade in TNA) is another excellent candidate for full-time work in WWE. Meanwhile, Baszler carries herself like the badass that she is and her poise should score a lot of points with fans who are unfamiliar with her MMA career. The angle with the Horsewomen was fun and a likely teaser of things to come…

Backstage, Charly Caruso stood in front of the bracket board and hyped that she would also be up for a Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen match. She shifted the focus to a video that previewed the Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley match…

3. Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley in a second round match. The women shook hands before the bell. Ka performed a nice running kick early in the match. Rhea caught Kai in Electric Chair position at ringside and dropped her face first on the apron in a cool spot. Kai came back with a victory roll into a bridge for a two count, but Ripley pressed her into the air and dropped her before covering her for a two count of her own.

Ripley went for a full nelson, but Kai countered with an overhead kick to avoid it. She caught Ripley with another kick, which Ripley did a nice job of selling as if she were woozy. Kai performed a running kick in the corner for a two count. Ripley came back with a suplex into a bridge for two. Ross scolded Ripley for not following up immediately. Both women ended up on the ropes and traded shots. Kai knocked Ripley into a tree of woe and double stomped her. Kai dragged Ripley to the middle of the ring and pinned her. The women hugged after the match. Kai will face Sane in the quarterfinals…

Dakota Kai beat Rhea Ripley to advance to the quarterfinals.

Powell’s POV: A nice match that needed more of a storyline hook. It was just two babyfaces competing and while the crowd seemed to like both women, they were fairly quiet. Likewise, the broadcast team seemed very subdued during the match. I would like to see Kai vs. Niven in the tournament, but with Kai facing Sane in the next round the odds would seem to be against it. Ripley impressed during her first match in the tournament and with her size, look, and being only 20, she is definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Ross and Lita hyped that Candice LeRae would face Nicole Savoy in the final second round match. A video package focussed on both women…

4. Candice LeRae vs. Nicole Savoy in a second round match. LeRae’s husband Johnny Gargano was shown applauding her in the crowd. Ross noted that Savoy was trained by Josh Barnett. LeRae offered a handshake and a smile, but Savoy kicked her hand away. Savoy performed a wicked suplex for a two count.

Later, LeRae went to the ropes only to have her legs swept by Savoy, who then performed a couple of suplexes before attempting a submission hold. LeRae managed to block the hold and fired back with punches. LeRae performed a springboard move, but Savoy caught her and suplexed her. Both women ended up fighting on the ropes. LeRae got the better of it and performed her Wild Ride finisher for the win. Afterward, LeRae hugged Gargano at ringside. LeRae will face Shayna Baszler in the next round…

Candice LeRae defeated Nicole Savoy to advance to the quarterfinals.

Powell’s POV: A solid match with Savoy showing off the suplexes that were missing from her previous match. The match order was somewhat questionable in that Baszler vs. Yim felt like more of a main event worth match than LeRae vs. Savoy, but perhaps there’s a reason for it. Overall, another good episode, as the tournament continues to get better as it goes deeper.

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Powell’s WWE Mae Young Classic Review: Episode Six featuring the final second round tournament matches

By Jason Powell

WWE Mae Young Classic
Aired on WWE Network
Taped on July 13-14 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

A video package recapped the previous episode with Kairi Sane, Mercedes Martinez, Piper Niven, and Abbey Laith advancing to the quarterfinals. This episode will feature the remainder of the second round matches with Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans, Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler, Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai, and Nicole Savoy vs. Cancie LeRae… The MYC opening video aired…

The broadcast team of Jim Ross and Lita checked in from their desk on the stage. Footage aired of Ronda Rousey and Jessamyn Duke walking outside the venue. Ross said they were there to support Baszler. Ross and Lita previewed the additional matches… A video package set up the opening match…

1. Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans in a second round match. Evans went for her finisher at one point, but Storm was able to avoid it. Evans performed a neckbreaker and tried to roll over onto Storm, who raised her knees. Storrm followed up with her Strong Zero finisher and scored the clean pin. Storm will face Piper Niven in the quarterfinals…

Toni Storm defeated Lacey Evans to advance to the quarterfinals.

Powell’s POV: Storm is the type of wrestler who can win over an unfamiliar crowd before the bell simply because she shows so much charisma during her entrance. And it’s not an elaborate entrance, unlike that of Evans, who looks like she performs the first half of a burlesque dance before the bell even rings. I’m still not a fan of Evans going with this throwback look when she has so many other more marketable qualities such as being a mother and a U.S. Marine.

A video package set up the Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler match. Yim spoke about traveling the world with the goal of becoming the best. Baszler said it’s a different audience for what she does, but she’s simply doing what she always does. She said no one can throw anything at her that she hasn’t seen. However, Yim said she is going to surprise Baszler…

2. Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler in a second round match. Ross called Baszler a destroyer of dreams. Baszler came out and walked past Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Bayley, who were in the front row. Lynch and Charlotte held up four fingers while Ross noted that there were two factions of Four Horsewomen in attendance. Baszler’s crew was located on the other side of the entrance aisle. Yim offered her left hand, but Baszler did not accept the pre-match handshake. The women traded kicks. Yim went for Eat Defeat, but Baszler avoided it with a kick. Baszler threw more kicks at a seated Yim, who rolled her up for a two count.

Yim connected with a suicide dive that got a rise out of the crowd. Back inside the ring, Baszler once again stuffed an Eat Defeat attempt, then showed impressive strength with a couple of gut wrench suplexes that led to a two count. Yim applied the Tarantula on the ropes briefly, then performed a cannonball in the corner. Baszler went for a leg hold, but Yim grabbed the ropes to break it. Yim performed some palm streaks and then performed an overhead kick for a two count. Later, Baszler rolled Yim into an ankle lock and prevented her from getting to the ropes. Yim rolled over and kicked herself free. Yim came back with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. The fans chanted “women’s wrestling.” Yim went up top for a 450 splash, but Baszler put her knees up and applied a “rear naked sleeper” for the win…

Shayna Baszler defeated Mia Yim to advance to the quarterfinals.

After the match, Baszler posed with Rousey and friends at ringside. She then turned toward Bayley, Charlotte, and Lynch and held up four fingers at them. “I’d buy that,” Lita said of a potential match between the Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen match…

Powell’s POV: A fun match. Baszler was positioned as the favorite, but Yim was given a good amount of offense and had a good showing. Yim (a/k/a Jade in TNA) is another excellent candidate for full-time work in WWE. Meanwhile, Baszler carries herself like the badass that she is and her poise should score a lot of points with fans who are unfamiliar with her MMA career. The angle with the Horsewomen was fun and a likely teaser of things to come…

Backstage, Charly Caruso stood in front of the bracket board and hyped that she would also be up for a Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen match. She shifted the focus to a video that previewed the Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley match…

3. Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley in a second round match. The women shook hands before the bell. Ka performed a nice running kick early in the match. Rhea caught Kai in Electric Chair position at ringside and dropped her face first on the apron in a cool spot. Kai came back with a victory roll into a bridge for a two count, but Ripley pressed her into the air and dropped her before covering her for a two count of her own.

Ripley went for a full nelson, but Kai countered with an overhead kick to avoid it. She caught Ripley with another kick, which Ripley did a nice job of selling as if she were woozy. Kai performed a running kick in the corner for a two count. Ripley came back with a suplex into a bridge for two. Ross scolded Ripley for not following up immediately. Both women ended up on the ropes and traded shots. Kai knocked Ripley into a tree of woe and double stomped her. Kai dragged Ripley to the middle of the ring and pinned her. The women hugged after the match. Kai will face Sane in the quarterfinals…

Dakota Kai beat Rhea Ripley to advance to the quarterfinals.

Powell’s POV: A nice match that needed more of a storyline hook. It was just two babyfaces competing and while the crowd seemed to like both women, they were fairly quiet. Likewise, the broadcast team seemed very subdued during the match. I would like to see Kai vs. Niven in the tournament, but with Kai facing Sane in the next round the odds would seem to be against it. Ripley impressed during her first match in the tournament and with her size, look, and being only 20, she is definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Ross and Lita hyped that Candice LeRae would face Nicole Savoy in the final second round match. A video package focussed on both women…

4. Candice LeRae vs. Nicole Savoy in a second round match. LeRae’s husband Johnny Gargano was shown applauding her in the crowd. Ross noted that Savoy was trained by Josh Barnett. LeRae offered a handshake and a smile, but Savoy kicked her hand away. Savoy performed a wicked suplex for a two count.

Later, LeRae went to the ropes only to have her legs swept by Savoy, who then performed a couple of suplexes before attempting a submission hold. LeRae managed to block the hold and fired back with punches. LeRae performed a springboard move, but Savoy caught her and suplexed her. Both women ended up fighting on the ropes. LeRae got the better of it and performed her Wild Ride finisher for the win. Afterward, LeRae hugged Gargano at ringside. LeRae will face Shayna Baszler in the next round…

Candice LeRae defeated Nicole Savoy to advance to the quarterfinals.

Powell’s POV: A solid match with Savoy showing off the suplexes that were missing from her previous match. The match order was somewhat questionable in that Baszler vs. Yim felt like more of a main event worth match than LeRae vs. Savoy, but perhaps there’s a reason for it. Overall, another good episode, as the tournament continues to get better as it goes deeper.

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