WWE Mae Young Classic Quarter/Semi/FINALS
Abbey Laith vs Mercedes Martinez
Get Mercedes out of my face. How can someone who has been wrestling that long still be so...not good? I also don't care for Abbey being portrayed as this big underdog in all of her matches despite women quite a bit smaller than her not being treated the same way in their matches. There are some ugly looking spots in this, and I can't even tell who to blame. This feels like it goes on forever, too, and the longer it goes, the more it falls apart. Mercedes wins with a fisherman buster. Terrible choice of winner here.
Candace LeRae vs Shayna Baszler
Now, here's a match where the underdog thing should work out a little bit better, but on the other hand, Candace isn't very good, and Shayna has shown a startling lack of charisma in this thing so far. "Are you ready for a car wreck?" Way to put the talent over, Jim. You ever see a suicide dive that turns into a DDT and you can't tell if it was intentional or not? Well, you have now. But hey, it was a hot start to a match, for a change. Lmao, Candace DOMINATES the opening minutes of this match, including doing multiple submissions. Then Candace goes for the super neckbreaker only for it to be countered into a rear naked choke for a quick tap out. Lmao at Shayna giving Gargano the death glare. I'm pretty sure they're the same size. She might have bigger legs than him, actually.
Toni Storm vs Piper Niven
Piper's taunt thing is really odd. She pounds her breast (nipple area, not a chest pound) and throws up the kawaii deuces. Lol at JR trying hard not to call Piper fat when explaining her athletic ability. Toni doing bridges with Piper on her. Now why they both do bridges and shake hands while upside down gets a WOMEN'S WRESTLING chant, I don't know. It was just an extended indie respeck spot. Also lol at "hip attack" when it's a straight up ass to the face. Later rounds means it's okay to kick out of finishers I guess. Toni suplexes Piper as Piper is going for a Vader Bomb, then wins with a guillotine leg drop.
Kairi Sane vs Dakota Kai
Perhaps the best match on paper in the whole tournament. This is a rare match where Dakota is the bigger wrestler, yet this is being worked with Kairi being much more aggressive and physically dominating. Sadly, this isn't doing a whole lot for me. Both seem lethargic, and it's being worked so backwards with the much tinier Sane being so physically dominant and Dakota working as the underdog. Kairi wins with the elbow drop. She also kicked out of the corner boot and took it again later in the match. I don't get why every match in the quarters and semis have finisher kick outs. Just...don't hit your finish. Three or four matches in, people should be MORE susceptible to big moves, not less.
Mercedes Martinez vs Shayna Baszler
Mercedes helped trained Shayna, which might explain where Shayna's black hole of charisma comes from. Mercedes is the first one Shayna gives a handshake to in this tournament. Lmao at Mercedes just teeing off on Shayna and trying to make her flinch. I get that Mercedes is the teacher here, but Shayna has destroyed everyone so far, and Mercedes sucks yet is beating the shit out of her. With strikes. And submissions. The MMA fighter. They do a LONG strike battle while on the mat, and it looked bad. Don't have a MMA based wrestler get the shit kicked out of her with strike exchanges and throws. This is basic shit, guys. I'm pretty sure this went longer than all of Shayna's other matches combined. She won with the rear naked choke again.
Kairi Sane vs Toni Storm
They start this out with an extended feeling out process, which seems like a terrible idea in front of crowd that has seen 29 matches in 2 days. Just get to work. I assume this is the match Kairi got a concussion in, when she landed face first on the ramp doing a crossbody from the top to the floor. She has a fucking grating imprint on her face afterwards. Or it could have been a suplex that she landed on the back of her head from. Or possibly when Toni did a guillotine leg drop and it looked like most of her ass landed right on Kairi's head. What I'm saying is this match is sloppy as hell. JR being as trash as he is in 2017 calls a leg drop on the head a leg drop to the lower back, and landing face first on the ramp as being "near" the ramp. Then he asked himself rhetorical questions in the third person and answered them. This is with 2 months old pre-taped commentary, mind you. Kairi wins with the elbow drop to the lower back to head to the finals. All that work on the the elbow during the match went nowhere. Lmao at HHH having to gently tell Shayna to scoot back so the trophy could be in the shot.
Kairi Sane vs Shayna Baszler FINALS
For some reason, they did the whole tournament at Full Sail, then the finals after Smackdown in front of an audience that the most probably did not have any clue who these two were. Lillian Garcia returns to do introductions and gives some long winded Michael Buffer shit. What the heck lmao. Shayna hits a big head kick early on that rocks Kairi and sends her damn near to the ramp. From there, Shayna just bullies the much smaller opponent, where her lack of really laying in her shit is masked by joshi screams. The elbow of Sane is again a focus, which didn't matter at all in her last match. It's kind of dumb anyway. It's not like she wouldn't be able to do an elbow drop just because her elbow hurt. If she had a lifting or submission move, it'd make a bit more sense. Take out her legs and she can't go to the top rope to hit her big move. Kairi goes after the ribs of Shayna, starting with her spear, which is silly as shit. She's billed at 5'1", 114 pounds. She should not be doing a spear to anyone, let alone to women so much bigger and thicker than her. They crowd did get really into it by the end, and Kairi wins with the flying elbow drop.
This whole thing was mostly a bust to me. Slightly better than the UK tournament, in that there were a few more than 2 talents I'd ever want to see again, yet far far below the CWC in every way. Taping everything but the finals in 2 days meant all the matches were short and unimpressive, because all the good talent had to keep themselves fresh to work 3-4 matches. The best couple of matches weren't even as good as the better regular NXT TV women's matches in 2017, and didn't come close to big time PPV/Takeover/Raw/SD matches, either. The whole thing felt like all the impressive women would have been better off just debuting in NXT like normal instead in a big tournament supposed to be super important with much higher expectations that were not even close to met.
The whole thing could have (and should have) easily been cut down to 16 or even 8 instead of 32. I get wanting to make things seem as big and worldly as possible, but not when at least half of the talent involved wouldn't even be on NXT TV under normal circumstances. I know a lot of nerds complained about the focus on Ronda Rousey (which literally only happened one match per round), but I'm way more into the idea of Four Horsewomen of MMA vs Four Horsewomen of WWE than anything coming out of the tournament itself. Dipshits acting like Ronda Rousey isn't a star because she lost two fights after the biggest mainstream celeb WWE has used in 20 years was a...pro fighter with two loses in a row, and he happened to be a convicted rapist on top of that.