Mae Young Classic Quarter Finals Review

Wrestlers who love wrestling. Credit: WWE

We’re into the quarter finals of the Mae Young Classic and the action is steadily improving. We’re still yet to see anything like the highs of the Cruiserweight tournament, but with the competitors left there is still plenty of time for that to happen. Once again, I won’t be mentioning JR and Lita because they suck. Right, let’s dish out some stars.

Mercedes Martinez defeated Abbey Laith

A rather clunky photo, much like the match. Credit: WWE

Laith has had a great tournament playing the underdog and I was hoping we’d get to see her work a longer match in the quarters. Unfortunately, we’re getting the same format as the earlier round with four fights being shoved onto one show and Laith is once again opening the card.  This was also the worst of her three matches. Everything was a bit clunky and I’m not sold on Martinez. Out of everyone that had made it to the quarter finals she strikes me as the dullest choice to continue on. She’s not a bad wrestler by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s been a lack of character from her this tournament. She’s a pretty bog-standard heel and considering who she is up against in the semi-finals, Laith going in to work from underneath would have made more sense.

Verdict: Two Stars

Shayna Baszler defeated Candice LeRae

Mrs Wrestling takes flight. Credit: WWE

For the second round in a row, Baszler has benefitted from a superior wrestler going out there and doing everything in her power to make her look great. LeRae was a pro here and while most of the attention will be on Baszler, she deserves all the credit in the world. She threw herself around the ring and more than made up for Shayna’s shortcomings with her own ability. It’s no secret that Candice is great but if you want to see how to make someone else look good, watch this match. Meanwhile, despite enjoying all three of Baszler’s matches, I’m still not sold on her. She looks good when she’s dominating but the second the tide turns so does she. Unless they plan on having her steamroll through everyone, she’s going to have to show something a bit different before this tournament is over.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Toni Storm defeated Piper Niven

Leg drops for the win. Credit: WWE

There is something joyous in watching two wrestlers who love what they do. That’s what the opening minutes of this felt like. It was showing off but it was entertaining showing off and I’m all for that. It also led to a fantastic moment as Niven decided she’d had enough and splashed the bridging Storm. It’s been fun watching the supremely talented Niven impress in this tournament. She’s come on leaps and bounds since I first saw her years ago and it’s no surprise that she doesn’t look out of place at this level. Storm meanwhile worked great as the plucky babyface in this match. There’s a touch of arrogance to her which will hopefully prevent her become too squeaky clean for the audience, but she’s also likeable. My only complaint is that it still feels like we haven’t got a chance to watch her strut her stuff. Hopefully, the semi-final against the star of the tournament so far will let her do that.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Kari Sane defeated Dakota Kai

Time to fight. Credit: WWE

I’ve said it every round so far and I’ll repeat it. Sane is a star. She’s consistently stolen the show and the fact that WWE has given her three main events indicates that they know it. A second should be taken to praise Dakota Kai, however, who has been one of the dark horses of this tournament. She’s put on three good matches and her strike based style is a lot of fun to watch. There was a slight hitch in this match when she forgot to sell the knee for a bit but with a little bit of polish, she could go far. There was no chance she was getting the win here, though, as Sane continued onwards. This was a bit faster paced than her previous matches but if anything it benefitted from it. Her and Storm in the semis have the potential to grab match of the tournament and I can’t wait to check it out.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Overall Show

It really is beautiful. Credit: WWE

I’m still a bit put out that WWE put all of these matches on one show rather than spreading them over two. We’re three rounds in and it feels like these women are still warming up. I am completely spoiler free so I don’t know if they have been given half a show each for the semis but I sincerely hope that was the case. Despite that grumble, this was still an improvement on what has come before. While I might have gone for Laith over Mercedez and I have my issues with Baszler there is no denying that the four women in the semi-finals deserve to be there. Let’s just hope it’s also the round where WWE lets them show it.

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