We’re kicking off Round Two of the Mae Young Classic. The wheat has been separate from the chaff so to speak as the sweet sixteen looks to continue their journey tonight. We get another hype video with Mauro Ranallo doing the voice over before heading to Full Sail where we are joined by Jim Ross and Lita on commentary. The remaining 16 women are on stage together as the show gets underway.
We are shown the updated tournament brackets before it’s time for a video package about the first two competitors of the evening.
We get videos about Abbey Laith and Rachel Evers. The interview stuff was mostly the same as the stuff that aired in the round one pre-match video packages but they’ve got footage from round one.
Meanwhile in the Audience…
Kassius Ohno is in the crowd to support Rachel Evers apparently. Are they dating or something?
Match 1: Abbey Laith vs. Rachel Evers
The competitors have their heights, finishing maneuver, and fighting style listed on the onscreen graphic now as they make their way out to the ring now.
As Abbey Laith makes her way out Lita talks about how Evers is probably the strongest women in the tournament but Laith has experience “wrestling stronger men,” and mentions her training with CZW which “isn’t ballet.” Seriously, wrestling in 2017 makes absolutely no sense to me.
They shake hands and the bell rings. The early going is a power vs. speed battle. Laith trips Evers up for an early near fall and then sends Evers to the outside with an armdrag and then nails her with a suicide dive.
They head back in and Laith covers for two. After kicking out Evers nails Laith with a Stunner and follows up with a senton that earns her a near fall. She takes control and heads a springboard corkscrew legdrop out of the corner for another two count.
They both get to their feet and both women go for kicks and we get a double down.
They trade forearm strikes and then Laith heads up top. Evers cuts her off and hits a massive powerslam off the top for a near fall.
Laith counters a big boot and hits a powerbomb and then covers with the alligator clutch to pick up the win. After the match they hug and Abbey Laith raises Rachel Evers’ hand and gives her props for a hard fought match.
Winner: Abbey Laith
This was a solid opening bout and Evers really redeemed herself in my eyes. Whatever happened in her first round match wasn’t really indicative of her actually ability. I’ve always like Laith so I’m happy to see her go forward in the tournament. [***]
We get a video package for Piper Niven and Serena Deeb.
Match 2: Piper Niven vs. Serena Deeb
Deeb hugs the trophy on the stage and shakes her ass as she makes her way down to the ring. They lock up and Niven takes Deeb to the corner right away and playfully punches her in the jaw again. Deeb is not pleased with this. She works a side headlock and goes for a slam but Niven it too much woman and Deeb gets crushed by her, but Deeb manages to kick out at two.
Niven slows the pace down, and Deeb manages to get a surprise near fall from a roll up. She goes back to the side headlock but gets cut off when Niven hits a Saito Suplex. She then connects with a running cross body block that earns her a two count. Niven goes for a running senton, but Deeb gets her knees up and comes back with a headlock takedown.
Deeb throws a bunch of punches and then comes off the ropes and hits a lung blower. At some point she manages to monkey flip Niven. She later takes Piper down with a slam and then hits a neckbreaker to get another two count.
Niven fights off Deeb and slams her into the corner and then nails her with a cannonball which earns her another two count. Niven goes for a Michinoku Driver, but Deeb escapes and hits a snap mare driver for a near fall of her own.
Deeb goes for a spear but Niven sidesteps it and then whips Deeb face-first into the corner. She then goes up to the middle rope and hits the Vader Bomb and goes for the pin, but Deeb manages to kick out at two. The crowd wants Niven to hit another, but instead heads all the way up top and goes for a top rope splash, but Deeb moves and Niven eats shit.
Deeb fires up and goes to whip Niven but Niven pulls her in and nails Deeb with a Michinoku Driver to pick up the win and advance to round three.
Winner: Piper Niven
Another really solid match between two good workers. Deeb was a great plucky babyface who took the fight to a much bigger opponent, getting a lot of stuff in before ultimately coming up short.
Piper continues to look fantastic and if the WWE were to sign her they’d have a great big girl monster heel that could actually work instead of Tamina or Nia Jax. [***½]
We get a video package for Mercedes Martinez and Princesa Sugehit. It’s a fine video package, but neither woman says anything of any import. They are the two most experienced women in the tournament and both want to win.
Match 2: Princesa Sugehit vs. Mercedes Martinez
Princesa Sugehit is dressed in a Wonder Woman inspired outfit which is pretty cool. The match gets underway with mat work. Martinez gets tired of the grappling bullshit and starts laying in strikes until Sugehit cuts her off and hits a cannonball that earns her a two count.
Martinez hits a rolling suplex and a draping neckbreaker that earns her a two count. Martinez misses with a running boot which allows Sugehit to hit a Code Breaker. Sugehit goes for a monkey flip but gets cut off.
They head up top and Sugehit dumps Martinez to the mat. Martinez staggers up to her feet and gets nailed by Sugehit with a tornado DDT that leads to a double down.
Sugehit recovers first and crawls over for the cover, but Martinez kicks out at two. Sugehit hits a la mistica and then gets Martinez in an arm bar. Martinez fights out of the hold and then nails Princesa Sugehit with a fisherman’s buster to pick up the win.
Winner: Mercedes Martinez
This was an okay TV match I guess, but nothing that great. So far Martinez hasn’t done much to impress me but she’s apparently a big deal, so I guess I’ll see what she can do in round three. [**½]
Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair get promo videos before their match.
Match 4: Kairi Sane vs. Bianca Belair
The match starts with Belair looking to use her braid as a whip, but Sane backs off so Belair decides to overpower the smaller Sane. She grounds her early on, and when Sane manages to get back to her feet Belair just runs over her with shoulder blocks.
Belair feels confident and blows a kiss at Kairi, who mimes catching it and throwing it to the mat before stomping on it. It’s ridiculous and also one of the best things that’s happened in the tournament up to this point.
Sane hits with a dropkick and blows a kiss to Belair for a huge pop. Belair then whips Sane with her braid sending her into the corner. Crazy old school heat from the crowd as she proceeds to whip the shit out of Sane in the corner. She follows up with a hip toss and a clothesline and goes for a cover getting a two count.
Sane gets her in a hanging guillotine but Belair powers out of it and then proceeds to do squats before nailing Sane with a delayed vertical suplex. She follows with a grounded full nelson before delivering an implant buster that earns her another near fall.
She mounts Sane for some ground and pound and the goes for a running splash but Kairi gets her knees up. Sane fires up and chops the shit out of Belair in the corner. She then connects with a flying forearm for two. Sane locks in a stranglehold but Belair manages to fight to her feet and escape.
Belair nails Sane with a powerslam and covers for two. They trade strikes. Sane gets sent to the mat each time Belair hits her but Sane keeps getting to her feet to fight. FIGHTING SPIRIT BAYBAY! Eventually Belair puts her down with a massive spinebuster and heads up top. 450 SPLASH! ONE! TWO! NO! SANE KICKS OUT!
Belair goes for a spear, but Sane moves and Belair posts herself. Sane marches across the ring and nails Belair with the sliding forearm. Belair gets back to her feet only to get nailed in the face with a spinning backfist. Sane heads up top and the audience goes absolutely apeshit. Sane leaps high up into the air and nails Belair with the elbow drop to pick up the win.
Winner: Kairi Sane
It’s insane to me that Bianca Belair’s only had 3 or 4 televised matches (one was a dark match that they put on the internet so I don’t know if that really count). She looked so good here. I don’t know how much was Kairi calling spots and leading Belair through the match, but the flow of the match was superb.
Even if that was all Sane, Belair did a great job with selling and keeping the crowd hot through out the match. The part where she was whipping Kairi with her braid had the crowd screaming like it was World Class Championship Wrestling in 1983 and they were watching the Freebirds beat down the Von Erich boys. I was completely shocked. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the rest of the tournament but with this one match they were able to make a new star out of Bianca Belair. [****]
This is easily the best episode thus far. The in ring stuff was all very good and the commentary seems a lot better than it had during the first round. JR and Lita seemed a lot more engaged and on the ball so to speak. This episode is definitely worth your while.