Are you ready for some more lady grappling? I hope so because it’s time for the second half of Round Two in the Mae Young Classic! This episode kicks off the same as every other episode with Mauro Ranallo doing voice overs as they show highlights of the women who will compete tonight and then it’s off to Full Sail where we are joined by JR and Lita.
Meanwhile Earlier Today…
We see Ronda Rousey and Jessamyn Duke arriving at Full Sail to support their friend, Shayna Baszler, who will be in action later tonight.
Toni Storm promises to win. She does not seem to be taking Lacey Evans all that seriously. Lacey Evans says some words as well. I don’t remember anything she actually said though. If I had to guess it was probably some sort of promise to beat Toni Storm.
Match 1: Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans
They shake hands at the open and the match gets underway with a collar and elbow tie up. Evans overpowers Storm and sends her to the mat where she applies a head scissors. Storm manages to escape with some zany mat work.
Evans tries to pick up the pace but she gets cut off by Storm who hits a series off ass attacks to Evans’ face. She winds up for one final ass attack, but Evans rolls her up for two. She slams Storm into the corner and then hits a 619 around the ringpost that catches Storm in the head. She sweeps the leg and then nails Storm with a slingshot elbow that earns her a two count.
Evans keeps Storm grounded, working over her limbs, but Storm manages to get free. She fights back with knees and forearms and hits her with a Code Breaker in the corner. She follows up with a running ass attack and then nails Evans with a suplex.
Evans recovers and tries for that weird reverse piledriver deal, but Storm manages to wiggle free and she lays out Evans with a neckbreaker slam thing into her knee to pick up the win and advance to the next round.
Winner: Toni Storm
This was a fine television match but I’m kind of perplexed by Toni Storm. I know she’s kind of a big deal in a couple wrestling promotions where “workrate” is important, but thus far she hasn’t done much to impress me in the ring during this tournament. She’s got the look and character stuff down and is pretty solid in interviews but her matches haven’t really impressed me all that much. [**½]
We get a video package about Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim. They both talk about how they’ll win and advance in the tournament. Baszler claims that all she needs to do to win is exist. Now that’s a top shelf arrogant heel claim!
Match 2: Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim
Bayley, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch are shown at ringside. They stand up and kind of stare down Baszler as she makes her way out to the ring which pops the crowd, but otherwise nothing happens.
In the ring Baszler refuses to shake Mia Yim’s hand. The bell rings and the match gets underway. The crowd is decidedly pro-Yim in the opening moments as they trade kicks. Baszler gets the best of the opening exchange but Yim fights back and sends Baszler to the floor. A suicide dive takes Baszler out. The Four Horsewomen of WWE seem pleased by this.
Yim rolls Baszler back in and covers for two. She then goes for Eat Defeat, but Baszler reverses it into some knee submission move. She follows up with a series of rolling gut wrench suplexes but before Baszler can follow up on them, Yim gets her in the Tarantula and then nails Baszler with a cannonball in the corner.
Baszler goes back to the leg again, but Yim gets to the ropes. Yim fights back with a series of strikes and kicks that she caps off with a Pele Kick that drops Baszler. Yim covers for two but Baszler gets back to her feet and nails Yim with a knee strike. It’s not enough to keep Yim down though and she comes back with a bridging German Suplex that gets her a near fall.
Yim goes for a second German but Baszler counters and rolls into an ankle lock. Yim rolls over and kicks Baszler in the head to escape. Baszler goes for a high kick, but Yim catches her, hurks her up and nails her with a sitout powerbomb for another near fall.
Yim heads up to the top and goes for a 450 but Baszler gets her knees up. Before Yim has a chance to recover Baszler locks in the rear naked choke and Yim is forced to tap out.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
This was probably the best match of the episode. Yim and Baszler’s styles matched up pretty well and Yim’s selling made Baszler seem like a legit threat going forward, but to be totally honest, I want to see a tiny wrestler lady emerge victorious over her. [***½]
Meanwhile in the Audience…
After the match Baszler celebrates with the Four Horsewomen of MMA and then has a stare down with three of the Four Horsewomen of WWE as she makes her way to the back. JR and Lita talk up a possible feud between these two groups.
Meanwhile in the Mae Young Classic Command Center…
Charly Caruso shows us the updated brackets and then tosses it to a video package for our next match. Australia vs. New Zealand y’all!
Rhea Ripley’s going to kick Dakota Kai into little pieces. No! Dakota Kai is going to kick Rhea Ripley into little pieces. Both women are planning on winning this match and advancing in the tournament.
Match 3: Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai
After shaking hands they lock up. Ripley tries to use her power and size to take control but Kai is too quick. Kai hits a bunch of arm drags and then follows with a dropkick. She hits some more kicks and sends Ripley out to the floor.
Dakota heads out on the apron and tries to kick Ripley in the face, but Ripley catches her leg and gets Dakota Kai up on her shoulder. She then proceeds to hit an electric chair onto the ring apron that looked like bad times for Dakota Kai.
They head back in an Ripley covers for two. She applies a cravat to slow things down before working over Kai with knees and kicks. She scores another near fall off a basement dropkick before Kai gets a roll up.
Ripley escapes and hits a pop up flapjack for another near fall on Kai. She tries for the full nelson slam, but Kai worms out of it and counters with a kick. Kai hits some kicks that earn her a near fall before Ripley mounts a comeback, hitting a superkick and a northern lights suplex for another near fall.
She puts the boots to Kai and then puts her up on the top turnbuckle and follows her up for a superplex. Kai is not about to get superplexed though and they trade strikes up top. Ripley gets put in the Tree of Woe and tries to do a sit up. This is the moment Dakota Kai has been waiting for! She jumps up and hits the double stomp on Rhea Ripley’s tits as she’s hanging on the ropes.
This is more than enough for Dakota Kai to pick up the win and advance in the tournament.
Winner: Dakota Kai
Another pretty good match. Rhea Ripley showed a lot of potential and could easily be a big star in the WWE since she’s tall, busty, decent on the mic, and pretty solid in the ring for someone who’s been wrestling for such a short time. [**½]
Candice LeRae and Nicole Savoy have both worked hard to be here. They are going to win their match tonight via their skills and abilities.
Match 4: Candice LeRae vs. Nicole Savoy
Johnny Gargano is in the crowd looking on because he is very supportive of his wife in her endeavors.
Candice LeRae offers a handshake before the match but Savoy kicks her hand away. The bell rings and the match gets underway with Savoy grounding LeRae and working over the arm. She muscles LeRae to the corner and hits some strikes but misses when she goes for a charge.
LeRae hits a tornado DDT that earns her a two count, but Savoy comes back with a Saito suplex that gets a near fall for her as well. Savoy goes for another suplex and then goes for submissions but LeRae manages to escape and counter with a surfboard variation. Savoy counters and tries for a chokehold but LeRae escapes again.
LeRae hits a Codebreaker and goes for a charge but misses. She fights back and heads up top but gets pulled off the ropes by Savoy who covers for two. Savoy follows up with rolling butterfly suplexes and tries for an arm bar, but LeRae lays into her with kicks to escape.
LeRae goes for a springboard off the ropes but gets caught by Savoy and dumped on her head with a German suplex. Savoy covers and gets a two count and then goes for a dragon suplex, but LeRae drops down to slide out of it and then kicks Savoy in the head.
Candice LeRae follows up an Octopus Hold, but Savoy slams her into the corner to break the hold. She nails LeRae with a diving forearm that drops her before setting her up for a superplex. Savoy goes up after her, but LeRae fights her off and hits Ms. LeRae’s Wild Ride. She covers. ONE! TWO! THREE!
Candice LeRae picks up the win and goes out to hug Johnny Gargano.
Winner: Candice LeRae
Like most of the matches in this episode this was decent wrestling, but wasn’t all that memorable either. The announcers talked about how Savoy had just come back from a major injury which leads me to wonder if she wasn’t back to 100% yet. I’d heard good things about Savoy, but nothing she did in this or her first round match did all that much to impress me.
This was fine television wrestling but kind of a step down from the previous episode in my opinion. Nothing here was bad, but none of the results really surprised me here and no one looked better or worse than they had in the first round. It’s set up a couple matches that I’m interested in seeing in the next round though and the Baszler vs. Yim match is worth checking out if you’ve got like six minutes to kill.