The SmarK Rant for the Mae Young Classic – S01E08
And we wrap up the binge portion of the tournament with the semi-finals, leading to the live finale this Tuesday.
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are JR & Lita
Mercedes Martinez v. Shayna Baszler
They trade some ANGRY GIRL strikes and Mercedes takes her down for a sleeper to show she’s the alpha dog, before throwing elbows from the top and controlling on the mat with a facelock. Shayna fires back with a gut wrench for two and then hooks her with a cradle for two. She switches to a kneebar, but Mercedes puts her in a crossface and they slug it out on the mat. This only angers the Baszler, and she tries a suplex, but Martinez powers her into the fisherman’s buster, then can’t make the cover due to a bad knee. Mercedes gets all fired up and throws some backdrop drivers, like full-on Steve Williams ones, and a release german suplex. Another fisherman’s buster is reversed into a falcon arrow and Shayna sinks in the choke off that and Mercedes has nowhere to go at 8:10. This was like the girl version of a “mean guy” match. ***
Kairi Sane v. Toni Storm
They trade wristlocks to start and take it to the mat, and Storm controls down there until Sane starts throwing forearms to take over. She misses a dive off the top, but gets a dropkick. Storm takes it back to the mat and goes after the elbow, which is a sensible action, then puts Sane down with an uppercut for two. Storm dumps her, but goes to the apron and gets yanked down by Sane, and she follows with a dive and looks like she almost knocks herself out on the ramp. Back in, that gets two. Kairi with a Boston crab, but Storm makes the ropes and makes the comeback with a release german, only to run into a spear. Sane goes up, but Storm catches her with the fisherman’s suplex for two. Storm takes her down with an armbreaker and cranks on a crazy armbar off that, but Sane manages to roll her up for two. Storm goes up with the same legdrop that finished Piper Niven, but she can’t make the cover and Sane wraps her up with a cloverleaf before working the back further. And finally, Sane goes up and hits the flying elbow to the back and advances to the finals at 12:25. ***1/2
And there we go, the finals on Sept 12 are Shayna Baszler v. Kairi Sane. Overall I’d say the tournament exceeded my expectations, and was a fun ride with no b------- draws or DQs and basically everyone winning every match clean with their finish. Honestly, I’ve got no idea who’s winning, but either one is a fine choice. Really, the only major negative, and it’s a big one, is that the commentary sounded like something out of a video game and really hurt the overall presentation. Hopefully we at least get Mauro, or JR channels a more excited version of himself for the finals.