Wednesday, August 30, 2017
After a solid debut episode, I dive back into the Mae Young Classic. I’m familiar with six of the eight women on this episode.
The opening video package showed highlights from episode one.
Li is signed to the WWE and has only worked a tiny amount of matches. Martinez is a 36-year old vet who has been in SHIMMER, Shine, ROH and many other promotions. I’ve been watching her for about ten years at this point. Martinez had fun with the opening handshake, intimidating Li and mocking her. Lie responded with a series of kicks that overwhelmed Martinez. Li made the mistake of running into a spinebuster and Martinez took her to school. Martinez turned a surfboard into a dragon sleeper for the submission victory in 3:06. I liked the potential that Li showed. In her first televised match, she was given a chance to show off and did well. Martinez made her look good. Martinez faces Princesa Sugehit next.
Belle, 29, has been seen in TNA and Shine. Evers, 24, is the daughters of Paul Ellering, was trained by Lance Storm and has impressed me in some appearances for Shine. Early on, Belle went to stall tactics and called for timeout when Evers had control. Marti took over a bit, but the stronger Evers did the old school spot where she no sold turnbuckle smashes. Evers showed off a fisherman slam, which I don’t think I’ve seen before. Marti responded with a bad looking Stroke for a near fall. Rachel then rolled her up to win from out of nowhere at 6:10. That wasn’t any good. Marti looked horrible. She was sloppy as hell and, though I like Evers, she didn’t stand out either. Easily the worst match so far. Evers meets Laith in the next round.
New signees Shadia Bsesio and Kacy Catanzaro were shown in the audience.
A video package was shown of Triple H giving the 32 participants a talk at the Performance Center.
Salinas, 23, was trained by Booker T, while Ripley is just 20 years old and signed to WWE. Ripley is way taller. After some basic grappling exchanges, Ripley busted out a sweet dropkick. Like, some of the top dropkick guys in the business would be a bit jealous. Salinas didn’t back down, regrouping and finding a way to take her larger opponent down. Ripley brought more dropkicks, including a hesitation one in the corner. A full nelson slam later and Ripley won at 3:51. In the short time, they told a fine David vs. Goliath story. The important thing here was Ripley looked like a star. Of the girls I’ve never seen before, she seems to have the most potential.
Beth Phoenix and Natalya were shown in the crowd.
Logan is the former Crazy Mary Dobson, is 23 and signed to WWE. Yim is 28 and has worked for TNA, SHIMMER and Shine in the past. They started with a quick pace and had the crowd giving split chants. Yim showed off an impressive array of kicks, with Logan conjuring up FIGHTING SPIRIT, only to keep getting kicked. As a side note, this was the most knowledgeable Lita sounded in the tournament, noting their past and Yim using the tarantula as a tribute to her old trainer, Tajiri. The women continued to hit each other hard with strikes, kicks and knees. They moved to suplexes, with Yim hitting some great looking ones. Logan was fired up and resilient, constantly fighting back and racking up near falls. Logan missed a weak looking strike and fell to Eat Defeat in 7:17. The best thing on this episode. There was some great looking moves throughout and Logan showed some great babyface fire. Yim was very impressive in her own right. I enjoyed the back and forth aspect, as it hasn’t been something we’ve seen a lot of in the tournament so far. Yim faces Baszler next round.
Overall: Not the best episode if you’re looking for great matches. Only Yim/Logan stuck out to me. However, what did work was how some girls got to showcase potential. Ripley has future star written all over her and a great presence, while Li and Logan looked to be good pieces for the Performance Center. Martinez being on WWE TV was quite cool, too. Avoid Evers/Belle, though. That didn’t work at all.