Grading this week's episode of the Mae Young Classic (10/3/18)
This week on the Mae Young Classic, the second round of the tournament began. 4 women moved on to the quarterfinals while 4 women did not move on. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Toni Storm faced off in the opening match.
Taynara Conti and Jessie Elaban and Rhea Ripley and Kacy Catanzaro both faced off before the main event. Meiko Satomura and Mercedes Martinez then faced off in the night's main event.
#1 Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Toni Storm
Result: Toni Storm defeated Hiroyo Matsumoto via pinfall with a bridging kedo clutch to advance to the second round.
Analysis: This was a great opening match. Each woman worked their hardest to steal the show. They had the advantage of having an opening match so they were able to wow the crowd. They had an excellent hard-hitting match with excellent false finishes.
Hiroyo Matsumoto worked great as a dominant heel. I truly thought she got the win when she hit her Backdrop Suplex. However, Toni Storm somehow managed to make it to the bottom rope.
Storm looked great as the fighting face. It was the right decision to have Storm get the win since she is the signed competitor that needs to get several wins to bolster her credibility.
#2 Kacy Catanzaro vs Rhea Ripley
Result: Rhea Ripley defeated Kacy Catanzaro via pinfall with a Pumphandle Powerbomb.
Analysis: What a match! These two women were determined to keep the ball rolling after the incredible Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Toni Storm match earlier in the show. Kacy Catanzaro was an incredible underdog. For someone who has been wrestling for less than 2 years, she is incredible.
Her innovative springboard dropkick off of the middle rope, her corkscrew dive to the outside, and her amazing Tilt-a-Whirl DDT all looked incredible. Rhea Ripley excellently sold the DDT. Kacy Catanzaro has a lot of talent and certainly has the potential to succeed in the WWE. Rhea Ripley was great as the dominant heel.
She had no desire to entertain Catanzaro's underdog story and looked past her. She was almost defeated as a result of that. It will be interesting to see if this leads to even more aggressiveness from Ripley in her match in the quarterfinals.