The quarterfinals of the 2018 Mae Young Classic have settled who will move past round 3 and into the semifinals stretch of the tournament, which will end at WWE Evolution on October 28th.
Here is the breakdown of my thoughts for the matches which took place in round 3:
Meiko Satomura defeated Lacey Lane – The right person won in this scenario. Satomura was positioned repeatedly as being “the legend’ in this tournament, so once she got past Mercedes Martinez in the last round, it would have been strange for her to lose to Lane in the quarterfinals. Lane is a newcomer and it would only make sense to give her the win if she were someone WWE had an absurd amount of investment in and wanted to push to the moon super fast. Patience will pay off more than doing that. Lane will get her time, and since she’s on the roster and not Satomura, this was more about making Storm look better in the next round than putting Lane over. As far as the match quality itself, I’m now more fond of both of these women, having seen more from them. Lane’s on par with most from NXT and Satomura, while not someone who I’d put on my list as my favorite superstar of the year, was solid.
Io Shirai defeated Deonna Purrazzo – I always talk about how it’s surprising how long it took to sign Mia Yim and how I have no idea how Mercedes Martinez hasn’t been signed yet, but come to think of it, why did it take so long to make Deonna Purrazzo an official member of the roster? She has it all. It’s a shame she had to lose here, but since Io Shirai is the much bigger name, it’s not like it doesn’t make sense. VERY glad to see more personality from Shirai, who was lacking in that regard in her previous two matches, from my perspective. This was a good showing of how this tournament has been very entertaining so far and I’m sure will go down as much better overall than Evolution.
Rhea Ripley defeated Tegan Nox – Ugh, this sucked, and not in the “this match should have been better” way, but in a much more depressing way. Just a few moves into the match, Tegan Nox’s suicide dive injured her other leg. That’s such a heartbreaking thing to watch. Nox is so talented and to see her crying her eyes out, saying “I can’t do it again” is just awful. This would be perfectly fine if this were a work, but since it isn’t, it’s just the worst. At the very least, if you’re looking for the slightest bit of a silver lining, they could use this as a means to put Rhea Ripley over some more by having her gloat that she injured her, but that’s not even remotely close to the negatives that come with this. I hope Nox has a SUPER speedy recovery and that when she comes back, she comes back stronger than before in more ways than one and WWE doesn’t hesitate to push her.
Toni Storm defeated Mia Yim – Two of the best in the tournament, who could have easily been the semifinals or even the finals if the brackets had played out differently. Yim is going to be a great asset for NXT and Storm may end up being the biggest star to work NXT UK not just for the women’s division, but the entire brand in general. I’m not quite sure what else to say about how great both of them are and how they’ve proven themselves as being equal or superior to the main roster women on Raw and SmackDown, as I don’t really have anything negative to say about them. They’re crisp, clean, they know what they’re doing and I sincerely hope both of them grab titles at some point in 2019.
But those are just my opinions. I want to know what YOU have to think. What were your thoughts on round 3 of the Mae Young Classic 2018 tournament? Drop them in the comments below!