Mae Young Classic Round One Review, 9/26

HIROYO MATSUMOTO VS. RACHEL EVERS

Interestingly the crowd starts chanting “fight forever” before the bell even rings. It sounded like Matsumoto caved Evers’ chest in with that double dropkick from the top rope. Both of these ladies are really powerful. Cole calls Matsumoto a “vocal performer”. That’s an understatement, she grunts and yells with every move. I never understood the purpose of that until I trained in Krav Maga and realized how much more powerful my strikes were when I did that.

It’s not the cleanest match but it’s definitely entertaining. Then they stand there and take turns throwing forearms at each other’s faces with neither even attempting to block a punch. That didn’t make much sense at all, because they weren’t even acting groggy or out of it. I think Evers hit an RKO/Diamond Cutter. It looked pretty awesome. Big powerbomb from Matsumoto followed by a side suplex finisher she calls the Rock Drop for the win. I had those couple of nitpicky things, but overall, a really good match.

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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TAYNARA CONTI VS. JESSIE ELABAN

Conti is obviously the better grappler, as you’d imagine with her judo and jiu-jitsu background. Elaban looks terribly over-matched. Elaban finally starts to use her long legs and height advantage rather than get in close. As I say that, she stupidly goes for a suplex, and of course Conti turns it into a vicious side slam for the win. Conti looked terrific, and I’m looking forward to what she does in the next round vs. Lacey Lane.

Match Rating: Six Gold Medals

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ISLA DAWN VS. NICOLE MATTHEWS

Just from the pre-match vignettes I already don’t like Nicole Matthews, and I really like Isla Dawn. Probably because we are both witches. The announcers find it confusing that Isla Dawn was in a horror movie but get scared when she goes to see other horror movies. Yes, that’s incredibly shocking that horror movies can scare someone.

A few minutes into the match, I’m not really impressed. From the silence it seems the crowd feels the same way. Dawn does hit a modified Olympic Slam that looked pretty cool. Matthews hit a brutal clothesline, then puts Dawn in the old school Lion Tamer with the knee in the back of the neck. The end was good but the rest of the match was pretty underwhelming.

Match Rating; Two Gold Medals

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IO SHIRAI VS. XIA BROOKSIDE

I’ve heard some amazing things about Io Shirai, she has to be the favorite here. Brookside comes FLYING out of the gate, but Shirai quickly puts an end to that. Shirai takes over but Brookside shows her resiliency with a comeback. Too bad for her that barely lasts 30 seconds before she takes a devastating Meteora in the corner, followed by a NASTY moonsault in which it looked like Shirai’s knees drove right into Brookside’s midsection. Brookside never stood a chance. Great showcase for Shirai

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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Some good, some really good, some bad, but overall a fun first round. I’m looking forward to better matches as we get deeper into the tournament.

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