TONI STORM VS. MEIKO SATOMURA
Though Storm has been one of my favorite new wrestlers, I’ve been unimpressed by her performance in this tournament so far. This match starts out boringly as well until Storm lands a vicious kick to Satomura’s chest. I’d like to see her really get rolling, and same with Satomura, because this match has the potential to be amazing.
Satomura starts kicking Storm in the thigh, and that has to hurt like a bitch. A modified figure four by Meiko has Storm screaming in agony. The attack on the legs by Satomura is brilliant, as it takes away Toni’s base as well as her powerful kicks. Storm recovers to put Satomura in a modified STF that looks extremely painful and uncomfortable. Satomura crawls and reaches and crawls and reaches and FINALLY gets to the bottom rope, but that had to take a ton of energy out of her. Storm with a Fisherman Suplex for a two count.
This is the kind of match I’ve been waiting for Storm to have all tournament. A big suicide dive from Storm takes out both women, as Storm hurt her arm when they hit the steel ramp. A sliding kick to the head gets Storm another two count. It looks like Satomura didn’t soften up Storm’s legs enough Now we get a KICK WAR! DDT FROM SATOMURA AND A SPINNING LEG KICK TO THE BACK OF STORM’S NECK! This shit is exciting! Death Valley Driver! It’s ov… STORM KICKS OUT AT TWO! Meiko is MAD!
A vicious German Suplex by Storm folds up Satomura, then STORM ZERO! STORM IS THE WINN…. MEIKO KICKS OUT!!!! HOLY SHIT!! Storm goes for it again, Satomura reverses with a Pele Kick! Satomura hits a Scorpion Kick to the back of Storm’s head, but STORM KICKS OUT AGAIN! STORM WITH ANOTHER STORM ZERO! IT’S OVER! STORM WINS! STORM WINS! SHE’S IN THE FINALS!
That was exhilarating, exhausting, and terrifically entertaining. Not only did Storm finally have the kind of match I knew she could, but this might have been match of the tournament, if not for Satomura vs. Mercedes Martinez. Great action and I can’t wait for the finals. Both women cry, bow, and embrace after the match, with the crowd showing Satomura their appreciation.
Match Rating: Nine Gold Medals
It’s so awesome to see Triple H so give so much respect and personal attention to the competitors. It’s obvious how much he genuinely cares.
IO SHIRAI VS. RHEA RIPLEY
Man, take your pick in this one. I love Rhea Ripley, but I’d like to see Shirai take it. Michael Cole gave away when this was taped, because he said Ripley is 21. She turned 22 on October 11. Ripley is almost effortlessly dominating Shirai. She is SQUEEZING SHIRAI’S STOMACH SKIN! OWWWWWWWW!!!!! Then Ripley punches Shirai’s face off. A big stalling vertical suplex by Ripley holds Shirai up for a good 15 seconds. Ripley is getting pissed that she hasn’t gotten a three count yet.
Not only is Ripley dominating her opponent and showing off her offensive skills, but she’s also doing a great job as a heel of pissing off the crowd and setting up for a big emotional comeback by Shirai. Just as I type that Shirai unloads on Ripley with a flurry of forearms. A hurricanrana gets a two count and a dropkick right to the face of a seated Ripley sends Rhea rolling to the outside. Shirai with a big suicide dive, but Ripley drops her face first on the floor and nearly gets a count out victory.
Shirai hits a 619 and a missile dropkick from the top rope for a near fall. Ripley thwarts Shirai’s attempt at a moonsault and hits a superplex for a two count. Meteora by Shirai, and FINALLY nails her moonsault chest on chest, and SHIRAI IS GOING TO EVOLUTION! I’m sad that Ripley is not in the finals, but I am thrilled with the final and can’t wait to see an instant classic.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
Tonight’s Show Rating: Nine Gold Medals