Mae Young Classic episode 4, the last matches of the first round and the debut of Kairi Sane. The tournament had been phenomenal so far and this episode would have to do a lot to beat the last two.
At this point you could also start to see the next rounds pan out and begin to predict some of the potential big matches to come. It was interesting to see who they positioned strongly in this final first round episode.
Familiarity went out of the window for me again. I recognised two wrestlers from their appearances in NXT. The rest were once again a mystery. There was a lot of buzz about Kairi Sane in the kick off show. Hands up being honest here I had not heard of Kairi prior to this tournament. So my interest was peaked to find out what she could do.
Episode 4 – The Card
- Renee Michelle vs Candice LeRae
- Taynara Conti vs Lacey Evans
- Nicole Savoy vs Reina Gonzalez
- Kairi Sane vs Tessa Blanchard
Renee Michelle vs Candice LeRae
This was a good opening match. Candice LeRae was coming in very much the veteran and also the crowd favourite. Renee Michelle came across as green in the ring but Candice made her look good for the majority of the match.
Candice is Johnny Gargano’s wife and he was in the crowd cheering her on. The crowd chanting ‘Mrs Wrestling’ was a nice touch. Candice earning her place in the tournament was the main story of this match which she won comfortably in the end.
Taynara Conti vs Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans has one of the most unique looks in the whole tournament. I like the 40s style ring attire. It is something very different from the usual military look they give to most former soldiers who transition to wrestling. The personal journey of Lacey Evans was featured heavily which made her relatable and likeable at the same time.
I didn’t get much from Taynara. She played the heel in this match for sure, but didn’t really get a chance to shine. Conti has an interesting judo background and I know she’s been signed to the WWE for a while. So watch this space.
For two relatively green wrestlers, it was a good match. There is still work to be done on both sides. But as a first round match this was just fine. I am excited to see how WWE develop Evans in the future. Lacey was positioned strongly in this encounter and she moved on to the next round.
Nicole Savoy vs Reina Gonzalez
I am afraid to say this was a really dull match. In fact probably the worst match of the whole Mae Young Classic tournament.
I really didn’t have anything invested in this at all. The characters of the wrestlers involved did nothing for me so I wasn’t routing for either of them to win.
Its a really bad thing to say, but I can’t even remember the finish other than Nicole Savoy won.
Kairi Sane vs Tessa Blanchard
The habit in the Mae Young Classic is to put on a really good final match on each episode. Once again they succeeded in leaving the best until last.
Tessa’s has a good wrestling heritage which I’d heard of before. But as I admitted earlier I had not heard of Kairi Sane. As it turns out she was a huge star in Japan for World Wonder Ring Stardom so I can understand the big reaction from the crowd.
This was one of those matches you wished could’ve gone on much longer. Back and forth with loads of great action. At one point I wasn’t sure who was going to win. The smart money was of cause on Sane but at times an element of doubt crept in. Kudos to both competitors for achieving this.
Kairi Sane eventually got the win with her exquisite diving elbow drop which needs to be seen to be believed. Great Stuff!
The first round of the Mae Young Classic comes to a close in emphatic fashion. There were some great matches in these opening episodes that set the bar very high for the next rounds to come.