It’s time for the finals to the inaugural Mae Young Classic. It’s in Vegas so we’ve got that Big Fight Feel® in full effect as Renee Young welcomes us to the show while standing next to the trophy, which honestly looks like a piece of the Aggro Crag from Nickelodeon’s GUTS.
Earlier Today on the Red Carpet…
We get some highlights from the tournament and from people arriving at the red carpet earlier in the evening. Three of the Four Horsemen of the WWE are here as are some of the cast of G.L.O.W. Awesome Kong gets interviewed under her real name with no mention of her ever being in the WWE. Ronda Rousey is also here. She says some stuff.
Back in the Arena…
Mrs. Ultimate Warrior, Beth Phoenix, and Madusa are all at ringside to watch the match. Mauro Ranallo is also here, though he does not appear to be in the front row, he seems to be somewhere in the middle of the arena next to random wrestling fans which strikes me as funny.
Renee Young then introduces our commentary team for the evening and JR and Lita then say some stuff about how honored they are to be a part of this historic event before they throw it over to a video package.
We get a video package about Baszler and Sane. Baszler’s not worried too much about Sane because she destroyed everyone in the tournament so far and enjoys hurting people. Kairi Sane says that she might be smaller than Baszler and Baszler might be an MMA monster, but this isn’t MMA it’s wrestling which means Baszler is in her world.
Back in the Arena…
We see some of the Four Horsewomen of MMA at ringside. It looks like they have some other woman to replace Roderick Strong’s wife for the evening. Mercedes Martinez, Candice LeRae, Piper Niven, and Toni Storm are here to watch as well. I hope this is a sign that these four have been signed to WWE contracts or something. Who knows?
Match 1: Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane
Both women come down to the ring and then because of Big Fight Feel® we get ring announcements. Lilian Garcia makes her WWE return to talk about the tournament and announce both women before the match begins.
Baszler kind of gives Sane five before the bell rings, so I guess she kind of respects her or something. Sane tries to use her speed to avoid Baszler early on, but Baszler manages to score a takedown and goes to town with the submissions right away. Sane manages to escape and then backs away from Baszler.
Baszler smirks and motions for a test of strength. Sane is skeptical but locks up anyway. She is promptly overpowered, but bridges to keep herself from being taken to the mat only to get tripped up by Baszler who then lays into her with kicks.
Sane fights back and with a head scissors but Baszler comes back and after shoving Kairi away nails her with a head kick that sent Sane out to the floor and draw audible gasps from the crowd. Baszler heads out after her and rolls her back into the ring and covers for two.
Baszler then grounds Sane and goes to work on her elbow droppin’ arm, trying to take away Kairi’s best chance of putting Baszler away. Sane manages to get a roll up. Sane tries to follow up, but Baszler evades and goes back to Sane’s arm. Baszler goes for a suplex, but Sane counters and goes for a spear only to be caught by Baszler who then proceeded to ruin her shit with rolling gut wrench suplexes that score a near fall.
Baszler goes back to the arm, trying to keep Sane grounded. Kairi fires up and lays into Baszler with chops. Kairi goes to run the ropes but Baszler follows after her and murders her with a running knee and then kills her some more with kicks.
Sane hits a desperation spear from OUTTA NOWHERE and covers for two. She then hits a basement dropkick that earns her another two count. She then gets Baszler in the body scissors prompting JR to ask, “When was the last time you saw someone use a body scissor,” to which I screamed at my TV, “Like two nights ago dude! I watch a completely stoned Kevin Von Erich put on one Carlos Zapata…the man from Cooo-BA in WCCW!”
Baszler fights out the the hold from 1982 but Sane manages to work her over and drop her in the corner. Sane goes from the sliding lariat but misses. She’s fired up the and just lays into Baszler with kicks and then heads up top. She leaps off top, but Baszler catches her in a rear naked choke!
Sane fights back though and after going to Baszler’s ribs manages to escape the hold. She nails Baszler with a massive backfist and then heads up top, but Baszler’s back to her feet and up after Kairi.
They battle up top, trading strikes but Baszler gets Kairi in the kimura. Sane is fading fast but goes back to the ribs and manages to get Baszler in a Tree of Woe. Sane then nails her with a double stomp to the boobs and covers. They’re too close to the ropes though and Baszler manages to get a hand on the ropes for a rope break.
Sane hits her with a forearm to the ribs and then heads up top. It’s here that I notice one of the straps from her top has broken. This could be a boob disaster. ELBOW DROP! Wrestling attire integrity retained! Sane covers. ONE! TWO! THREE!
After the match Kairi helps Baszler back to her feet and they hug because Kairi Sane is too pure for this world and not even Shayna Baszler can deny her charms.
Winner: Kairi Sane
This was a good, simple match between to good workers. It wasn’t the best match in the entire tournament, but it was solid and accomplished what it needed to. They really put over Kairi as a resilient babyface here while keeping Baszler strong even in defeat by having Kairi stay on her injured ribs and still almost managed to ruin Kairi’s shit with the rear naked choke. [***½]
Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Sara Del Rey head down to the ring. Triple H shakes Baszler’s hand and Baszler heads backstage. They present Kairi with flowers and a trophy. She cries and clearly declares, “I’m happy!” to Sara Del Rey and I swear to God I just have something in my eyeball.
Anyway Kairi celebrates a little and the show goes off the air.
Literally a one match show. The match was short but decent and the show really did feel like a big event. For all the complaints people had about the Mae Young Classic I think they ended up doing a pretty decent job all things considered. Not only did the right woman ended up winning the entire thing but WWE exposed its audience to a pretty sizable group of decent female workers from outside the WWE Universe, laid the seeds for a potential match between the WWE’s Four Horsewomen and the Four Horsewomen of MMA, and in the case of Bianca Belair made a new star.
I’m not sure what will happen long term because of this tournament besides Sane getting a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship in November, but whether they’ll sign people like Toni Storm and Piper Niven or capitalize on Bianca Belair’s momentum remains to be seen.