The SmarK Rant for the Mae Young Classic – S01E01
Well, these are pretty short, so we’ll give it a go.
Taped from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Lita
And of course Stephanie does the opening voiceover. God forbid we go more than a few weeks without being reminded who invented women’s wrestling.
First round: Princesa Sugehit v. Kay Lee Ray
The opening video package doesn’t really say much beyond “The Scottish one” and “The masked one”. Jim Ross describes the format as “very unique” because it’s single elimination, where only the winners advance. So it’s…a tournament then? Sugehit gets some kicks for two and the crowd is very jacked so it must be early in the tapings. They trade takedowns and Sugehit gets a rollup for two, but spins into a Gory Special from Kay Lee by accident. Sugehit counters into a facebuster for two, however and drops elbows for two. Ray gets some chops in the corner to take over, but Sugehit fires back until Ray gets a flatliner into a submission hold. The crowd doing the “1, 2, SWEET” bullshit is already getting on my nerves. Sugehit with an atomic drop into a rolling cradle for two. Low kick gets two. Kay Lee comes back with a facebuster for two and goes up, but misses a senton and gets armbarred at 6:05. Would have been more effective had the arm been worked over at all, but it was fine for a match where it was just a bunch of moves. **
Serena Deeb v. Vanessa Borne
Serena was part of the Straight Edge Society, but ironically got fired for substance abuse. Thankfully her hair has grown back again. I was kind of hoping she’d revert to her previous gimmick: Internet nerd Paige Webb. Borne’s whole deal is that she’s a former cheerleader and it seems clear that she’s got a job regardless of how she does here. Borne does some generic hairpulling and stomping to go heel early, and a headbutt gets two. Borne with a chinlock while JR talks speculates whether Serena does DDP Yoga or not. She’s certainly had her implants removed. Jawbreaker gets two for Deeb and she misses a ridiculous blind charge and Borne gets a neckbreaker for two. Borne pounds away and pretty much rubs her boobs in Serena’s face to get two. That’s a smother, ref! Samoan drop gets two and Borne doesn’t really seem to know where to go next. Deeb with a spear to finish at 6:05. Borne definitely looked like a rookie here, as she was mostly lost and needed to be carried. *
Shayna Baszler v. Zeda
Zeda is “representing China, from Richmond Virginia.” OK then. She’s also some kind of vague MMA expert, which I don’t feel will help her much here. She gets a takedown on Shayna and they trade submission attempts before Baszler throws kicks in the corner to take over. Zeda gets a monkey flip for two and tries a standing guillotine, but Baszler powers her into a slam and rear naked choke at 2:20. Nice finish, not much to the match. ½*
Abbey Laith v. Jazzy Gabert
Jazzy has the Colonel Ninotchka look going on, which is actually something different and unique for the division. Abbey fires away with forearms and Jazzy just shrugs her off and ROARS, which immediately gets her over with the crowd. How about that. Book someone to look like a dominant monster and people respond. Abbey can’t even get an armdrag, as Jazzy clotheslines her down for two and pounds away for two. Jazzy wraps her up with a cobra sleeper on the mat and cranks it in, then beats Abbey up in the corner instead. Abbey tries to come back, but Jazzy blocks a bodypress with a slam and gets two off that. Abbey tries a submission in the ropes with no success and makes the comeback with kicks, putting her down for two. Abbey keeps coming with kicks and goes up with a swanton for two. Jazzy has had enough and just puts her down with a lariat, adds some ground and pound, and tries to finish with a powerbomb, but Abbey counters with a cradle for the upset win at 7:15. I can’t say as I agree with the booking decision there. I mean, really it doesn’t matter so much, but Jazzy looked like a STAR here and should not have gone out in the first round. Again, though, the match was just OK for me. **1/2
I feel like this entire first round is going to be completely skippable and would have been better off condensed into a shorter format like the UK tournament, but this was an OK show with OK wrestling and was short and inoffensive. Really though, we’re all just waiting for Kairi Sane.
Tags: Mae Young Classic, Shayna Baszler, SmarK Rants, WWE Network