All that waiting for the second batch of episodes!
We’ve already completed the first round of the tournament. This week, we get through the second round, the quarterfinals, and even the semifinals! That means that my daily recaps will finish out the week and have us all ready for the final match of the Mae Young Classic, which will be live on the WWE Network right after Smackdown Live!
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Rachel Evers v. Abbey Laith
Rachel Evers came out first, and while she was really energetic and into the crowd, the crowd was even more into her. The second round has only just begun and the energy is electric.
In her previous match, she could shift her style to fit the pace, but Evers has to be the power when she’s in the ring with Abbey Laith. Just like usual, she dominates the very early portion of the match, but Abbey hits a top rope arm drag to throw Rachel outside. She follows up with a suicide dive that looked a little messy, but it might’ve been the camera angle. Back in the ring, Rachel hits a stunner with a quick senton right behind it. She follows this up with her springboard leg drop, but Abbey kicks out.
Evers hits a big kick that doesn’t knock down her opponent. They lock eyes and begin screaming to hype themselves and the crowd up, then they kick each other out at the same time. As they begin to find their base, they trade forearm shots until Abbey gets up and lands a roundhouse kick. She goes to the top rope but is caught and powerslammed back down. Rachel wants another big kick but misses and ends up falling to the Alligator Clutch.
Abbey Laith advances to the quarterfinals.
Piper Niven v. Serena Deeb
I’m interested to see this match, and while I liked Piper Niven’s performance quite a bit, I am reminded of just how sad I am that Santana Garrett is no longer in the tournament. Oh well, I’ll find a way to get over it.
Serena tries her hardest to dominate the early action, but she simply doesn’t have the strength to control Piper. She tries to pick her opponent up but it is turned into a splash from her opponent. Niven gets up and hits another quick splash, but when she goes for a senton she falls on the knees of Serena. The former member of Straight Edge Society gets up and attempts a move similar to Sliced Bread in the corner, but turns into a side headlock takeover. They get up, but Serena throws her opponents head into the top turnbuckle before trying for her own WrestleMania III moment, but she isn’t able to lift Niven quite as high as Hogan lifted Andre.
Getting frustrated, Serena starts to get more aggressive and hits a reverse stunner on Piper. She attempts a fireman carry but falls under the weight, and Niven hits a big cannonball senton in the corner. Niven goes to set up her Piper Driver, but Serena reverses it into a Jake Roberts-style DDT. Niven is able to get up and hit a second rope splash, but isn’t satisfied. She goes to the top rope for another splash but misses. Serena tries desperately to take advantage of the miscue, but Niven is able to successfully land the Piper Driver for the win.
Piper Niven advances to the quarterfinals.
Princesa Sugehit v. Mercedes Martinez
Jim Ross mentions that these two women are the most experienced competitors in the tournament, which is a fun tidbit. I find myself focusing more on the lip ring and eyebrow piercing of Mercedes and worrying, though she clearly knows what she’s doing. The chyron says that she is only 5’7″, but you could’ve told me that she was 7′ and I would’ve bought that without asking any questions. Also, Princesa Sugehit wearing Wonder Woman inspired gear reminds me of Santana Garrett again. Oops, my bad.
They exchange several quick chain wrestling holds very quickly, with Martinez having the slight advantage so far. Princesa is able to find some breathing room to throw Mercedes face-first into the turnbuckle, and she follows it up with a cartwheel cannonball. Mercedes gets back in the action with two German suplexes in a row followed by a through-the-ropes neckbreaker. Princesa is slow to get up, but she does land a codebreaker in the corner.
Martinez uses her superior strength to pick her opponent up and place her on top of the turnbuckle, but she takes too long and suffers a tornado DDT from Sugehit. The luchadora locks in an armbar on her opponent, but Mercedes tries to roll out of it. Just like in Kushida matches, both competitors rolls together without breaking the hold. Mercedes is eventually able to break out of the hold with enough power left to land her fisherman buster for the win.
Mercedes Martinez advances to the quarterfinals to face Abbey Laith.
Kairi Sane v. Bianca Belair
Yes. Finally. My wonderful pirate woman. She’s the best. Also, I just want to note that Bianca does a little hair flip when she gets in the ring and the ref is noticeably scared by her ponytail whip.
Since poor Kairi is relatively small, Bianca was going to lead the action by default. That only gets amplified when you account for how strong a national track star actually is, and Belair is arguably the most athletic woman in the company at this point. She blows a kiss to Kairi, but Kairi catches it and throws it to the ground in order to stomp on it. Honestly, this may have been my favorite little moment of the Mae Young Classic so far, mostly because it reminds me of this little moment between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Kairi is able to land a couple vicious elbow shots that knock Bianca down, so she resorts to using her hair as a weapon much earlier than before. The sound of her hair hitting Kairi is almost as loud as the kicks in Lucha Underground, and you can already start to see the welts showing. Belair continues with a knee to the stomach and a vertical suplex, but not before performing a few squats with her opponent above her. She tries to follow it up with a big top rope splash but finds the knees of Kairi Sane instead. She comes back with some aggressive knife edge chops in the corner.
Kairi locks in a submission maneuver but isn’t able to force the tap. After escaping, Bianca heads to the top rope for a 450 Splash, which also doesn’t end the match. Kairi sends her shoulder-first into the ring post, and greets her with an axe kick when she gets out of the ropes. She delivers a sliding forearm in the corner followed by a massive spinning backfist before going to the top rope for her glorious elbow drop and the win.
Kairi Sane advances to the quarterfinals.
We’ve got one more episode of second round matches to come tomorrow before we get down to eight women left.