After an enjoyable first episode topped off by a great main event from Meiko Satomura and Killer Kelly, I went into the second week of the Mae Young Classic with elevated expectations. I am quietly confident that this is going to be a fun tournament, so let’s see if they can prove me right.
Deonna Purrazzo defeated Priscilla Kelly
I don’t think I’d ever seen Pruscilla Kelly work before. I’m aware of her from her role as Austin Theory’s manager in EVOLVE, but beyond that, I was going in unsure of what to expect. Deonna Purrazzo I have seen as she’s established herself as the gatekeeper of women’s wrestling on the independents. She’s got great technique and having signed with WWE should go deep in this tournament.
Purrazzo was very much the leader of this match too as most of what was good about it came from her. She controlled the early matt work and had a lovely transition into the Fujiwara Armbar that would get her the win. Kelly didn’t do anything wrong – she looked decent enough – but nothing she did stood out as remarkable as this was all about Purrazzo.
Verdict: Thumbs Up
Zeuxis defeated Aerial Monroe
I had no prior knowledge of these women. Zeuxis is a Luchadora who talked about working strong style in her pre-match promo. Aerial Monroe, meanwhile, goes by the nickname Big Swole and has an adorable daughter who they showed watching on. She got over with the crowd and showed a lot of charisma.
Sadly, that charisma would prove to be the highlight as this wasn’t very good. Without having seen Zeuxis or Monroe wrestle before, it’s hard to say whether that’s down to their talent levels or merely a chemistry problem. Everything felt a bit sloppy and Zeuxis, in particular, looked clumsy in the ring.
The highlight was the finish as Zeuxis brought Monroe off the top rope with a Spanish Fly. They nailed that part, it was just a shame about the rest of it. Plus, it made Monroe’s daughter cry which should be a crime.
Verdict: Thumbs Down
Kazy Catanzaro defeated Reina Gonzales
Reina Gonzales competed last year and was working a cowgirl/cyborg gimmick. There was an eyepatch involved. Thankfully, the cyborg element seems to have gone although she is wearing a pair of jeans that are more hole than clothing. Kacy Catanzaro was the first woman to complete the Ninja Warrior course which I assume is an impressive thing. WWE snapped her up after that, so she’s a homegrown talent.
Gonzales towered over Kacy and kicked things off by easily throwing her across the ring. Catanzaro responded with some incredible athleticism. Throw her name into Twitter, check out the GIFs and realise why former gymnasts could very well be the future of the wrestling industry.
That combination made for a fun match-up. Reina was able to toss Kacy about the place, twisting her up and spinning her around. Catanzaro, meanwhile, took her beating like a champ before showing some fire with her comeback and getting the upset win with a roll-up. She’s green, but there’s enough there to suggest she could be something great.
Verdict: Thumbs Up
Mercedes Martinez defeated Ashley Rayne
Mercedes Martinez is a veteran of the indies and played that role in last year’s tournament before falling to her protege Shayna Baszler. Ashley Rayne is better known as Madison Rayne and is a former five-time Knockout Champion who is most famous for her run in The Beautiful People.
Rayne is one of these wrestlers who has achieved a lot, but who I can’t honestly say I think is any good. Are there great Madison Rayne matches out there? All the things that I’d point towards are storyline moments.
That made the decision to let Martinez lead the bulk of the action a good one. It also meant we got the awesome moment where she countered Rayne’s attempt at a wheelbarrow by dropping her on her head. Big fan of that. Mercedes is so clearly a pro, and everything she does looks smooth as hell.
I don’t want to completely take away from Rayne. She looked alright working from underneath and had a solid comeback section. The difference between her and Martinez is that I never believe in her the way I do Mercedes. Rayne’s offence looks light and despite having wrestled long enough to be a veteran she can still look awkward in the ring.
It was a decent match with Martinez getting the victory with a Fisherman Buster. The most exciting part of it is that it sets up a second-round encounter with Meiko which could be fantastic.
Verdict: Thumbs Up
We didn’t get the standout match that we got last week although the main event was still the best thing on the show. Even without something great, this was fun and easy to watch. The Mae Young Classic continues to impress.