Mae Young Classic Round One Review, 9/5

TEGAN NOX VS. ZATARA

Nox is billed as the favorite and the face here. Unfortunately this is the one match where I already know what happens, and it really sucks for Nox, because I had read that before the injury she suffers in this match, she was booked to win the whole thing. Zatara is definitely wrestling heel, and tells the crowd to shut up. These two are both quick and it’s making for an exciting, well-paced match.

Zatara works over Nox’s surgically-repaired knee to all of the vitriol from the crowd. Of course it’s a smart thing to do, but it’s obvious nobody likes her. Nox is clearly favoring the knee but goes to the top rope anyway and hits a high cross body for a two count. After she ducks an attack from Zatara, Nox hits her Shining Wizard for the win. I guess this is not the match where she gets injured. Really good start to the tournament with a fan favorite getting the win and firing up the crowd, and an excellent match.

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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RHEA RIPLEY VS. MJ JENKINS

I’m a big fan of Rhea Ripley. She and Toni Storm are my two favorites in this tournament. From her pre-match vignette, MJ Jenkins reminds me of Velveteen dream. She could definitely be a star and I was happy to see that she is signed to WWE. Ripley’s metal entrance is fucking awesome \m/. Ripkey is wrestling heel but I think she’ll be a Stone Cold-like fan favorite because of her attitude.

This match is physical as hell and I love it. Ripley hits a loooong stalling suplex on Jenkins to the delight of the crowd. Jenkins fires up for a big comeback and hits a nice springboard dropkick for a two count. Her comeback comes up a little short as Rhea hits a pump handle power bomb for the win. Terrific match.

Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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LACEY LANE VS. VANESSA KRAVEN

Both of these women have terrific looks but I’m a little partial to Vanessa Kraven. Lane too obviously pulls her punches and kicks, making the moves like too slow. It has to at least LOOK real to be good. Kraven is a bit stronger and crisper with her strikes. I think Lane will get the win in this one, she seems to have the look that WWE likes, and Kraven has the look of the large but lumbering heel that the smaller face has to fight to overcome.

Kraven hits a spinning sidewalk slam for a two count, and the crowd starts chanting for Lane in unison. Kraven misses a cannonball and Lane hits some weak strikes and then a Crucifix Bomb for the upset win. Lane needs a lot of work but she certainly has potential.

Match Rating: Two Gold Medals

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MEIKO SATOMURA VS. KILLER KELLY

I’ve never seen Satomura wrestle but I know she’s a legend in Japan. Killer Kelly wrestled in a triple threat match at the most recent UK tournament, but didn’t leave much of an impression on me that I can remember. I’m picking Kelly to win.

A lot of mat wrestling early on and the crowd appreciates their abilities. Kelly bounces off the ropes with a vicious big boot for a two count. Neither of these women strike me as a high flyer, I’m seeing a lot of technical wrestling and striking by both. Satomura locks in an STF by Kelly gets to the ropes for a break. Satomura takes control with some big kicks and knee strikes, but Kelly recovers with a nice stalling vertical suplex for a two count.

Kelly goes for another big boot but eats an uppercut from Satomura, then the Japanese legend does a cartwheel with double legs to Kelly’s spine before going up top. Kelly recovers and goes for a German superplex, but locks in a Dragon Sleeper from the top rope that looked AWESOME. Kelly hits a double dropkick to the face in the corner and then a fisherman’s suplex for a 2 3/4 count. I was sure it was over there and I think Michael Cole was too.

Satomura hits a Pele kick and a Death Valley Driver for the win. I was surprised to see the veteran go over, but don’t take anything away from Killer Kelly. They put on a hell of a show.

Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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Just one bad match tonight with Lacy Lane and Vanessa Kraven. The rest were really awesome.

Overall Show Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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