The semifinals of the 2018 Mae Young Classic tournament are in the bag and the weekly episodes have concluded, as the finals will take place this Sunday at WWE Evolution on October 28th.
Here is the breakdown of my thoughts for the matches which took place in round 4’s semifinals:
Toni Storm defeated Meiko Satomura – For being two of the more noteworthy people in the tournament and this being the semifinals, I was really underwhelmed by most of this match. It was slow, with lots of rest holds. Granted, they had wrestled multiple matches during these tapings, which may be part of the reason why this wasn’t more energetic, and that could be something WWE needs to think twice about in the future by maybe splitting up these tournaments into more than two recording dates, but still, excuses don’t make up for negatives. If I had seen just this match and not all the other great ones beforehand, I’d be pretty down on this as a whole. And can people please stop doing suicide dives??? Toward the end, the false-finishes really made this 20x better, but even that was ruined for me because these are pre-taped and I knew who would win months ago.
Io Shirai defeated Rhea Ripley – To be perfectly honest, I don’t have much to say about this match. It was good, but it wasn’t something I’ll remember details of by the end of the week. Nothing happened in it that was as impactful as the finish of Satomura/Storm, but it was better than that match when it comes to the beginning, so it somewhat balances out. Both Shirai and Ripley have their upsides and bright futures.
NOTE: WWE didn’t air three filler matches which took place, wherein Rachel Evers defeated Karen Q, Jessie Elaban, MJ Jenkins and Xia Brookside defeated Allysin Kay, Reina Gonzalez and Vanessa Kraven, and Aerial Monroe and Candice LeRae defeated Jinny and Killer Kelly.
Overall Tournament Thoughts
I’m sad to see this go. This actually became the hour-long block of WWE television that I was looking forward to the most over the past few weeks because of how good the tournament has been. Of course, not every match was stellar, but I’m not an “all or nothing” type guy who thinks everything has to be either 100% amazing or 100% the worst thing ever. It’s okay to have a few duds when the majority of the matches have been rock solid and some of the best we’ve gotten out of the women’s division this year.
As far as standout performers, there were a bunch. Most out of the 32 had some element that could be talked about positively, if not the whole package.
I maintain that Mercedes Martinez is one of the best and she proved that it wasn’t a fluke the first time around. She’s still probably my overall favorite of both tournaments.
Some people like MJ Jenkins and Jessie Elaban didn’t have much of an opportunity to showcase their talents, but in a short amount of time still managed to win me over.
Kacy Catanzaro has a lot of potential. Deonna Purrazzo is there already. Xia Li is perhaps the most improved by far.
Sadly, some people weren’t on the positive side of things. Taynara Conti should be written off by this point, in my mind. Kavita Devi isn’t progressing. Nicole Matthews was a whole lot of nothing. Priscilla Kelly underwhelmed. Rachel Evers and most of the NXT UK women (Killer Kelly, Isla Dawn, even Jinny to an extent) didn’t do enough for me to really get excited about watching them on Wednesdays. Reina Gonzalez…no. Zeuxis, definitely no. I honestly forget who Zatara is, kind of, so she must not have made a strong enough impression. And for all the hype surrounding Allysin Kay, I wasn’t wowed. I was also disappointed with Kaitlyn’s return.
Overall, though, this was a fantastic tournament and I really wish we could get this quality on a regular basis all the time. Plus, for the second year in a row, it was enough of a success that I wholly support having a 2019 Mae Young Classic, and I’m interested to see who returns and who makes their debuts then, because twice now, this has been an influx of great talent.
But those are just my opinions. I want to know what YOU have to think. What were your thoughts on round 4 of the Mae Young Classic 2018 tournament? Drop them in the comments below!