Episode Five: Heart
Welcome to round two of the Mae Young Classic folks! We’ve walked into the jungle with these women, we’ve dreamed a lot of dreams, and now we are here at the Sweet Sixteen. Ready for the roller coaster ride to continue? Let’s go!
Match One: Rachel Evers versus Abbey Laith
We open round two with Rachel Evers and Abbey Laith; two women who have overcome so many obstacles to get here. Both women have big hearts and want to end up in the finals badly, this was going to be a tough battle.
Full Sail was on their feet for most of this match and a huge ‘Women’s Wrestling’ chant. Rachel and Abbey brought everything they had to this one; a match filled with power, heart, and athleticism.
Rachel really shined in this one, while a big story coming out of the MYC is the coming out of Abbey Laith, Rachel Evers showed every person why she is so deserving to be where she is. Rachel showed of her power with an amazing power slam of the top rope; everyone in Full Sail was freaking out about it. Unfortunately for Rachel, Abbey kicked out which through Rachel off her game. Abbey caught her in a power bomb and got the Alligator Clutch for the win.
Match Two: Piper Niven versus Serena Deeb
This matchup was a tough call for me. On the one hand we have this amazing story of redemption in Serena Deeb, but on the other hand, Piper is showing the world what those in the UK have known for a while: she’s a star. While the size advantage surely goes to Piper in this, Serena has proven time and time again that she is no push over.
For Serena to get passed Piper she had to be creative and utilize her strikes to keep Piper on the mat. The real question would be if Piper would stay down. She wouldn’t, Serena used everything in her veteran arsenal and I honestly thought she had Piper beat a few times, but Piper proved to be too quick.
While Serena was looking rather winded, Piper moved around her with ease. Piper was impressive in this one and I think the fans at Full Sail really caught on to her, especially when Piper went to the top rope. There were two spots where Piper went for splashes, one missed, but the one that connected had fans going crazy. Even though Piper
missed on her top rope splash, she avoided a spear from Serena and connected with a Michinoku driver to advance to the next round.
Match Three: Mercedes Martinez versus Princesa Sugehit
The match up of the two most experienced women in the tournament, there’s going to be no mistakes here folks. To win, one of these women was going to have to the smallest opportunity and pounce on it.
Princesa is an amazing counter wrestler and started off the match really quick, grounding Mercedes to the mat. Mercedes made her opportunities be there. Princesa may have had powerful moves, strikes and kicks, but Mercedes came back against the Luchadora. Once Mercedes got control, that was really it. Her version of the Three Amigos is a wonderful thing, two suplexes and a rope hang neckbreaker.
This match was fun for the most part, Princesa looked great and worked Mercedes’s shoulder (the reason she had a two-year hiatus). The finish felt rushed though, at least to me. Princesa hitting the top rope tornado DDT and locked in an arm bar, Mercedes did make it out, hit a big boot and then the Fisherman’s Buster for the win. Watching it back just felt rushed, but Mercedes moving on was the right call.
Match Four: Kairi Sane versus Bianca Belair
I have never been more impressed with Bianca, this match was just, wow. Kairi came out to a thunderous Full Sail crowd, ready for their Pirate Princess. Bianca came out, confidence in full force, letting nothing get to her.
Bianca is very athletic and it truly showed in this match. She, more or less, dominated Kairi. Do I think her hair should be used as a whip? Hell no, but apparently it’s legal (Lita at one point said it was innovative, I completely disagree). Bianca is a hell of an athlete, there is no reason why she needs to use her hair, but in this match it was very effective. Kairi was trying her best not to get caught by Bianca’s hair, that I think that took all of her focus at first.
This was the first time we’ve seen Kairi truly frustrated, Bianca was in her head. Bianca did blow Kairi a kiss at one point and because Kairi is wonderful, she caught the kiss and proceeded to stomp on it. After this, Kairi really got going and Bianca, as much as she didn’t want to show it, was getting intimidated.
Bianca was the rockstar of this match. Guys, she pulled out a 450 splash and it was beautiful. I didn’t know Bianca could do that and I don’t think anyone at Full Sail did either. The upset could have happened, but Kairi kicked out of the 450 splash. Bianca missed a spear and Kairi had her opening. Axe kick, a sliding forearm, and a back fist all leading up to the most gorgeous elbow drop.
Kairi wins a really hard-fought battle to continue on.
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