Cleat Geeks

The 2nd Mae Young Classic Review (Episode 3)

Welcome to this review of the third episode of the 2018 Mae Young Classic! The second round field was halfway filled entering this week, as Kacy Catanzaro, Mercedes Martinez, Deonna Purrazzo, and Zeuxis all advanced in last week’s episode. The road to Evolution continued with four more opening round matches!

Episode 3 kicked off with Kaitlyn’s first WWE match since January 2014, with the imposing Kavita Devi as her opponent. Kaitlyn’s comeback story was the central point of this match, though it was also mentioned that Kavita has a different demeanor entering this year’s MYC. Kavita was one of my faves from last year’s MYC; I still remember her match against Dakota Kai and just loved Kavita’s villainous persona last year. We saw a bit of the “Hard KD” look this year, and Kaitlyn showed that she hasn’t missed a step in only her second match overall since her hiatus. Kaitlyn delivered her devastating spear and picked up the victory, giving Kavita a second straight first round exit.

Match #2 saw fan favorite and one of last year’s semifinalists, Toni Storm, face off against Jinny. The announcers promoted this as the continuation of a rivalry that has spanned around the globe, and regarding Jinny, I couldn’t help but love her villainous “fashionista” gimmick, as well as that accent. Hearing Jinny snarl and berate Toni to give up reminded me of Madame Medusa’s voice from The Rescuers. Toni was on the receiving end of a pair of submission attempts from her ruthless opponent, but she delivered the Storm Zero to defeat Jinny. Toni Time continues!

Next up was ROH and indie sensation Karen Q facing off against returning Xia Li; a match that many (myself included) had been looking forward to. Both women’s Chinese backgrounds came in to play; Xia Li is from China, while Karen is Chinese-American and from Queens. We would see both women bow to each other twice in a show of respect, but the second bow ended with Karen turning heel and slapping Xia Li, whose fury led to a barrage of flying fists to her opponent, Karen gave a mocking bow after taking down Xia Li, but their back and forth battle ended with Xia Li winning with an axe kick to Karen! The winner would face Deonna Purrazzo, and I figured that Karen would win due to their ROH history, so Xia Li’s win surprised me. It is an improvement for Xia, as she was defeated in the first round last year by eventual semifinalist Mercedes Martinez.

The episode’s main event was the continuation of a long and brutal rivalry, as Mia Yim and Allysin Kay faced each other in a WWE spotlight for the first time ever. Of course, Kay’s broken nose from years ago was mentioned, with Mia referring to her nose-breaking kick as “beautiful.” Now from what we’ve seen in the interviews, Mia appears to be turning heel, so I figured that Kay would be in a rare babyface role, but from what I watched, the face/heel dynamic was pretty much thrown out. It was a back and forth, hard hitting match, which actually saw Mia’s attempt at a chop to Kay miss and strike the post. Despite battling with a hurt right hand, Mia pulled out the victory with her Soul Food finisher.

Episode 3 showed Tyler Breeze and The IIConics in attendance, as the female duo were shown cheering on their fellow countrywoman, Toni Storm. As for the show itself, Mia vs Kay was definitely main event worthy, but I think the best overall match from the episode was Karen Q vs Xia Li. Karen and Xia delivered and showed great chemistry, and Karen’s heel turn helped tell Xia’s redemptive story. I also enjoyed Jinny and Toni’s match, and it was so great to see Kaitlyn back in a WWE ring. I hope that Kavita starts appearing on NXT after this; she is just amazing–same for Xia Li. Two more second round matches were locked in as a result of Episode 3’s results. Xia Li’s win sets up a match between her and Deonna Purrazzo, and I hope that Xia turns heel for that match, mainly due to Deonna being a popular name, but I also think that Xia could play a lethal villainess to perfection. The other match made will feature Mia Yim facing Kaitlyn, and we should see Mia’s heel persona in full form in that contest.

The first round concludes next week, as the final four opening round matches will take place. The tournament airs every Wednesday at 9PM EST/6PM PST, until the two finalists are decided. The finals of the tournament will take place at Evolution on Sunday, October 28.

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