The SmarK Rant for the Mae Young Classic – S01E04
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are JR and Lita.
Why do they insist on pretending like each “night” is a different taping? They even keep showing the same guy with the replica title belt in the front row! Like, it’s a taped show on the Network, we understand how TV tapings work.
Renee Michelle v. Candice LaRae
LaRae is revealed to be married to Johnny Gargano, which is the kind of info they don’t usually drop. They exchange wristlocks to start and LaRae rolls her up for two, then follows with a missile dropkick for two. Michelle gets a low kick for two and a neckbreaker thing for two. LaRae catches her with a codebreaker and makes the comeback with a neckbreaker for two. LaRae misses a blind charge and Michelle gets a superman punch and a spinkick for two. Moonsault misses and LaRae dropkicks her for two. Middle rope neckbreaker gets the pin at 5:40. Apparently that was “Miss LaRae’s Wild Ride” that JR and Lita were hyping up to start the match. Disappointing match given all the backstory on LaRae. *
Lacey Evans v. Taynara Conti
Evans is a former Marine, but she’s doing a weird World War II pinup girl gimmick, whereas Conti is doing the Brazilian martial arts deal, complete with gi. Lacey springboards with a kick for two and goes to the arm, but Conti puts her down with kicks and follows with a bunch of judo throws. Conti tries for a sunset flip, but Evans drops her with a slam for the pin at 4:43. Conti has some impressive resting bitchface like Alexa Bliss, but there was nothing to this. *
Nicole Savoy v. Reina Gonzalez
Savoy is the “Queen of Suplexes”, so I’m assuming Suplex City was named in her honor. This is another dead end match in the battle to lose to LaRae in the second round. Gonzalez blocks the armbar with a slam to start, but Savoy takes her down with a rana. Gonzalez with a sideslam and she takes Savoy down with a shoulder tackle to block a suplex, then puts her in some kind of wristlock hold out of a fireman’s carry. I can’t even see where the submission was supposed to be there, but it’s a moot point because Savoy reverses into a cross armbreaker for the submission at 4:35 instead. ½* So the “Queen of Suplexes” throws ZERO SUPLEXES.
Kairi Sane v. Tessa Blanchard
Both women look like immediate huge stars. Tessa has an incredible backstory, daughter of Tully Blanchard and stepdaughter of Magnum TA! Thanksgiving must be horrific in their house, with chairs getting broken and people trying to stab each other in the eye and such. They do the test of strength and Tessa works a headlock, but Sane rolls her up for two, so Tessa takes her down with a neckbreaker for two, showing good intensity. She really gets it. Sane goes up and Tessa takes her down with a codebreaker for two and finally JR has something to sink his teeth into here. Tessa with an abdominal stretch, but Sane catches her with a spear out of the corner and both of these ladies have crazy good charisma. Sane comes back with chops and a corner clothesline and she teases the flying elbow before hitting a flying forearm instead for two. Kairi with the octopus hold, but Tessa chokes her down on the ropes and follows with a dropkick to the back and a backdrop suplex for two. They head up and Tessa fights her off and follows with a senton for two. Not a fan of the “Mouth agape” selling when the heel’s big move doesn’t get a pin. Sometimes less is more. They trade pinning combos and Sane blocks a shining wizard and takes her down for a kick to the back and Alabama slam, setting up the FLYING ELBOW for the pin at 8:40. That was quite the hangtime on that elbow, dude. Clearly the best match of the first round by a mile. Why the hell is Tessa not on the main roster right now, by the way? ***3/4
The first round wraps up with another easy to watch 48 minute show capped off by a great match, as they really structure these shows well, having all the midlevel junk as undercard and leading to a big main event that delivers.
Not sure when the next batch of shows drop, but we’ll continue on with the reviews when it happens!