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MAE YOUNG CLASSIC - EPISODE 8 (SEMIS)


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A little surprised that Martinez made it to the semi finals but she had a really good (although too sudden) match with Abbey and then Baszler.  You can see from the end of the match that Sara Del Ray really felt good seeing her make it this far.

 I really wasn't impressed with Shayna early but working with proven vets like Candice and Mercedes shows her true potential.   I would hope Kairi wins but it really depends on how hard they are going to push Rousey in the WWE

The semis must have been after a ton of action because the crowd was really dead for a good deal of both matches.  

 

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-It runs counter to the narrative they're clearly pushing that Baszler is some Lesnar-like physical force, but she was way more compelling working from underneath, grabbing at limbs and attempting flash submissions. Her strikes are just too tentative and we haven't seen enough offense besides. Martinez didn't have that problem. 

That said, Baszler is ok, and could be very good soon enough, but it's a little disappointing to see this whole tournament as maybe being a means to get adjacent to Rousey, two years after it would really mean anything. Add that to the "I have a real combat background" stuff and... eh. It's a bit too Inoki for me. 

-Kairi did a really good job initially selling the gravity of the match, and building her excitement and intensity up from there. That led to some impressive--if a bit cringey--spots, but also a couple mistakes. Rolling the wrong way when she was presumably supposed to avoid the leg drop, for instance, hurt the ending stretch.

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Can't say I am overly hyped for the final. Storm/Sane was a fun semi but I don't think Sane has showed her A game yet. I think it's going to be hard to have a good match with Shayna in Vegas. 

Of everyone in the tournament, I think Kai,  Ripley, Niven, Storm were able to establish themselves. 

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Mercedes/Shayna was solid. Dug the student vs. master idea.

Kairi/Toni was good and way better than a match they had in Stardom earlier this year. That said, damn, was it getting sloppy towards the end. You could also see all those bruises on poor Kairi. Wish they would have spread this out a bit more to avoid this stuff.

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I'm not an MMA fan (and I'm thinking that might be the difference maker), so I really don't see what the big deal about Baszler is at all. I mean, I get that they love her because of the mainstream angle/Rousey connection, but I didn't think she came off as intimidating or like a monster at all, in the ring or on the mic. Her look isn't really a good one for someone who's supposed to be a badass either. Her submission work is good, but that seems to be it.

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I'm not sure being an MMA fan helps, honestly. She lost her last four fights, including the only two she ever had in the UFC. She was 1-1 on the Ultimate Fighter show in 2013, if we're counting that. Otherwise, her last win was in 2012, and she's 37, so it's not likely the trend was going to reverse. 

Not saying good wrestlers need to have sterling shoot credentials--or any at all, honestly--but when her entire gimmick is that of a dominant invading force with a "real" background, it invites a closer look. 

Admittedly, I feel like I'm being a bit unfair. She's pretty good in certain aspects--she's shown better out of the MYC--and by all accounts is very enthusiastic/humble/hardworking/etc. in her pro wrestling efforts. Her submissions look really good, for instance, and a lot of people struggle to make that transition. I just want nothing to do with a Rousey angle, years after its sell-by date. 

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I think Baszler's run to the semis was cool but it should have ended there.  She's not good enough yet and I see more potential in a girl like Bianca if they were going that route.

But Rousey I guess. 

Kairi/Toni Storm was decent in spots but also sloppy. I don't think Kairi or Toni showed their A game in this tournament. 

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I liked both of the matches although I agree that Kairi/Toni was a little sloppy. That dive to the outside was particularly scary lol I thought Shayna/Mercedes did a good job with the student/teacher storyline and it was a cool moment seeing Sara and Mercedes afterwards. 

I'm rooting for Kairi to win this (can't help it. I'm a sucker for the faces) but I can see some storyline potential in Shayna winning, especially if they do the 4 horsewomen thing. 

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MAN, fuck y'all, I want Baszler to win. She feels like the closest WWE is going to get to BattlArts, and I don't know if you know this about me but I love me some fuckin' BattlArts. The NXT Singers latching onto Mercedes was nauseating, but thankfully they gave it up early. This match was so my shit, just rugged and authentic feeling. Maybe in the next decade, wrestlers will figure out that they look like fucking goobers when they do the five move combos and shit, because if you don't you can have matches that look this goddamn good.

Going into this, I finally understood the dread people felt about TJ Perkins moving as far in the Cruiserweight Classic as he ended up being. On the other hand, Ibushi Kota Blows So Whatever. Kairi slicing her face on the ramp was gnarly as fuck. Selling was fucking all over the place in this one, but Kairi won almost to undo the bad fan reaction over Kota jobbing.

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I wonder if they booked themselves into a corner pushing Shayna as far as they have. I think they want a quality match for the final and I'm not sure she's up for that even with a pro like Sane in there with her, let alone as possibly carrying the NXT title. But they also wanted to keep Baszler strong for (or "in case they pull the trigger on") a 4 Horsewomen vs 4 Horsewomen angle. So unless they give her the win and the trophy, which would kind of be an insult to the woman wrestlers, she's getting beat by cutey patooty Kairi, who WE know is great but I could see someone in the front office balking at.

I think having Mercedes eek out a win with cheap heel tactics not only would have pushed the "this wrestling, not MMA" narrative but also gotten Shayna out without losing face, got a good heel in the final for Sane to bounce off of, and given a woman who's busted her ass for so long a nice showing. But that's just me.

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Both semis brought the goods. Loved seeing Mercedes make it this far after all her years on the indys, would be cool if she has a future in WWE. Never really struck me  throughout that Shayna's already 37 even knowing her years in MMA. Kairi/Toni was fun and the longest match of the tournament. Seems like a fairly predictable final two as the favorites from the start but should be an awesome match regardless. Definitely a very enjoyable tournament to watch overall.

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Mercedes Martinez finally showed her full arsenal and it was against her student. Seriously, they need to sign Mercedes; she's such a fantastic heel and lives her character. I would have booked her over Baszler with heel tactics (like Godfrey said).

Toni Storm vs. Kairi Sane; despite the sloppiness due to fatigue, it was still a damn good match. Kairi looked like she went through the grinder. I hope Toni finishes up all her numerous indie obligations and signs with WWE, she ready as she is with all the aspects they are looking for.

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yeah, I mean...Shayna has to win, right? I think she has something as an asshole heel and if there's any value in her you kind of have to push her as a killer. Her age gives her a short shelf life too.

Her rag-dolling and choking out Sane is an effective visual. I'm not sure she's up to snuff in the ring but they can smoke and mirror her matches.

There's money in the big four on four so you probably have to go all in on them as invading heels.

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Baszler is totally countering Kairi's elbow into the choke probably for the win. Meh. Count me amongst those that has zero interest in Rousey or Horsewomen vs Horsewomen. 

I think Martinez would be good in a sort of player/coach role in NXT. She helped Baszler to her best match in the tourney. 

Storm/Sane was a bit of a let down with the sloppy moments and seeing Kairi crash head first into the ramp was awful. I would have much rather seen Piper in there. Storm just didn't impress as much as several other workers in the tournament. 

Regardless the MYC had some really good showings and moments and hopefully it will provide for some much needed depth to the NXT roster.

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I'm probably going to start in on this tournament this weekend but having never seen anything of Toni Storm before, is the way she is in that Face to Face interview above her usual schtick? Cause, if so, she is hilarious and adorable and notmeaningtobecreepybuttotallygoingtosoundcreepy, I think I'm in love.

Yea, totally creepy. Settle down...and all that.

But, dammit, she used the word splendid as an adjective. This needs to happen more.

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One of my favourite things about the MYC is how Baszler had turned her rear naked choke into her version of the Diamond Cutter - she can lock you into it from any position. Never thought of Candice as being particularly good, but this was a really fun match. Baszler took that DDT like a boss too - between that and the Yim match she's been really good as a base for dives. I've no fears the final will be great - Io/Baszler is one of my matches of the year so far and, whilst Sane isn't as good as Io, both can go in big match situations

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