Cleat Geeks

The 2nd Mae Young Classic Review (Episode 2)

Welcome to this review of the second episode of the 2nd Mae Young Classic. In Episode 1, Tegan Nox, Rhea Ripley, Lacey Lane, and Meiko Satomura all advanced to the second round of the tournament. This week, the first round continued with four more matches, as the road to Evolution marched on!

The opening match of Episode 2 pitted Deonna Purrazzo against Priscilla Kelly, and for Deonna, this was the ultimate chance. Deonna was an alternate in last year’s Mae Young Classic, and was never used, while Priscilla looked to show out in a big stage. Both are well known in the indy circuit, and this match saw Priscilla unleash her psychological warfare, using her trademark mental tricks and mind games towards Deonna. Deonna was frazzled by Priscilla at first, but she regained her composure just enough to apply her trademark Fujiwara Armbar submission to Priscilla, with the devious Priscilla submitting. Following her victory, Deonna expressed immense emotion, as she had waited so long for this ultimate opportunity, and now she is just four wins away.

The second match pitted Aerial Monroe against Zeuxis, the only remaining masked luchadora following Zatara’s elimination in the previous week’s episode. Just as Zatara did, Zeuxis acted as a heel in her bout; antagonizing Aerial by doing the one thing she was warned not to do:  mess with her hair. Aerial’s marriage to WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander was mentioned, as Cedric was shown in attendance with Aerial’s young daughter. Both women fought valiantly, but in the end, Zeuxis picked up the victory with the Spanish Fly. This actually surprised me, because I thought that Aerial would win due to her marriage to Cedric possibly putting her over.

Match #3 featured another returning combatant, as the evil Reina Gonzalez competed against American Ninja Warrior alum Kacy Catanzaro. This was another David vs Goliath bout, but unlike last week’s bout between Lacey Lane and Vanessa Kraven, this had the good vs evil touch to this. Reina (6’0) played the role of the bullying, vicious villainess to perfection against diminutive Kacy (5’0). Reina stated that her early exit from last year’s MYC was due to her being “too nice”; though I recall her being just as vicious then. Kacy stood up to Reina’s intimidation factor, and saw her opening after Reina missed her attack. In the end, Kacy rolled up Reina for the victory, and though Reina was fuming over another first round exit, she returned to the ring and hoisted Kacy up on her shoulders in a show of respect. On a side note, loved that Reina competed in what appeared to be cowboy boots, and was happy to see Kacy in action finally, she was terrific in the ring.

The main event was an absolute dream match pitting Mercedes Martinez against Ashley Rayne. Mercedes is a household name in the indy scene, the same can be said about Ashley, but in her case, Ashley is also known in mainstream wrestling as a former five-time Knockouts Champion. Hard to believe that these women have never faced each other before, but it’s true. Though this is a dream match, the fact that this was an opening round match meant that one of the women would be ousted. Both women delivered spectacular performances, but it would be Mercedes and her Fisherman Buster that would put her in the second round of the tournament.

So who was shown in attendance in Episode 2? Other than Cedric Alexander, Samoa Joe–the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship–was shown, along with the Undisputed Era from NXT. As for female attendees, Natalya was shown for the second straight episode, along with Riott Squad members Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, the latter of whom participated in last year’s MYC. As for the show itself, the main event was the best match by far, but the best  out of the previous three matches was Reina vs Kacy.  I hope that Reina starts competing on NXT’s main program, she would shine as a borderline monster heel in NXT’s women’s division. And Kacy was just phenomenal; her performance was everything I figured it would be. A pair of second round matches were locked in as a result of this week’s results, Kacy will face off against Rhea Ripley; an interesting match considering that Rhea and Reina are villainous allies at NXT live events. A second match locked in will pit Mercedes Martinez against Meiko Satomura.

The first round of the Mae Young Classic continues next week with four more matches. The tournament airs every Wednesday at 9PM EST/6PM PST after NXT, until the two finalists are decided. The finals of the tournament will take place at Evolution on Sunday, October 28.


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