Mia Yim defeated Allysin Kay – For all that I’ve heard about Sienna, that’s all Allysin Kay had to show? Underwhelming. At least she carries herself like a superstar. Mia Yim was someone that I was very impressed with last year and I don’t get why she wasn’t signed to a full contract back then, let alone now. She should have gone straight from last year’s tournament to the full-time NXT roster and be in the running to be called up to the main roster this year, not still an outsider. OUCH with the chop onto the ring post.
Hiroyo Matsumoto defeated Rachel Evers – Matsumoto is younger than Asuka? Never would have guessed that. Lady Godzilla is over the top at least, but I’m not seeing her in WWE. Rachel Evers is the type that strikes me as good enough for the roles she’s been in, but may have hit her ceiling, overall, and if she hasn’t gotten a contract with NXT after all these matches, WWE officials must not see a star in her. Basically, she’s a bit on par with Blue Pants. I have nothing against her, nor Matsumoto, but I’d have been fine with neither of these two moving on and this spot to go to someone else like MJ Jenkins or Aerial Monroe or even Karen Q.
Taynara Conti defeated Jessie Elaban – I don’t get the fuss over Taynara Conti in any regard. There’s something about Elaban that I’m liking, though. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to see her perform and while she’s certainly green, I feel like there’s something there. After a year of Conti having a few chances, I’m ready to consider her a bust for the most part until she proves me wrong.
Nicole Matthews defeated Isla Dawn – Never saw Matthews and I think I’ve only seen one match of Dawn’s from NXT UK, so basically, a wash as far as preconceived notions. I like how Dawn seems to want to be a superstar, rather than Matthews, who seems better suited for being on the more “indie pro wrestler” side of things (which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but in WWE, it doesn’t translate as well). Both strike me as heels, though, so having Dawn play babyface felt strange. Underwhelmed by both, to an extent.
Io Shirai defeated Xia Brookside – Xia is cute and she’s only 19, so she has two major things working in her favor for her future right there. Curious if the chants she got were pro-Xia, pro-Robby, anti-Shirai or more of “I’m having fun and this is great no matter what.” This was a short match, so I didn’t get to see too much from Xia to go beyond that, but I also didn’t see much from Shirai to validate all the hype. Nothing bad, and that moonsault looked like it hurt, but really, there isn’t much to judge yet.
But those are just my opinions. I want to know what YOU have to think. What were your first impressions of round 1 of the Mae Young Classic 2018 tournament? Drop them in the comments below!