Things are heating up as we head into round two of The Mae Young Classic. Oh, I sounded like Michael Cole. Jokes aside, this is when things gets interesting. WWE have put together an impressive last sixteen, so if these women are given the time to do what they do best, we could get some incredible matches. (With that in mind, I’ll be going back to star ratings. As most of the rookies are gone, I think it’s fair).
Episode three of the Mae Young Classic has quite the line-up. You’ve got the return of Kaitlyn, plus the likes of Toni Storm, Jinny, Mia Yim and Allysin Kay (who is perhaps better known as Impact’s Sienna). With that group involved it’s probably a safe bet that we’re going to continue the theme of these being delightful slices of TV.
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.
The Mae Young Classic returns for its second year with a line-up that looks likely to lap last year’s attempt. They’ve brought back the likes of Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez, then added genuine superstars like Meiko Satomura and Io Shirai to the conversation. Plus, JR isn’t on commentary! Praise the Gods. If WWE gives this tournament time to shine, it could be special. (Quick note, I’m not going to be dishing out star ratings in the first round, they don’t get much time while a lot of these wrestlers are still young in their career. I’m going to stick to thumbs up or thumbs down).
On Sunday the 19th of August Becky Lynch once again saw her chance to win the SmackDown Women’s Title slip through her fingers. This time, it was her best friend Charlotte Flair that stole it from her. Added to Becky’s match with Carmella after returning from injury, Charlotte went on to beat Carmella and take the title for herself. So, Becky Lynch did what she had to do. She punched Charlotte in the face, turning heel as the audience exploded. Not with boos or shouts of sympathy for Flair. No, they roared with joy. In their eyes, they were finally getting to see someone that they loved getting the push that they deserved. It was a genuine moment of emotion from an adoring public.
It doesn’t matter how the build has gone or who is on the card, NXT TakeOvers always deliver. So, how excited should we be when we go into one where the card looks damn good? The Undisputed Era vs Moustache Mountain? Yum. Baszler vs Sane? I want a bit of that. Adam Cole vs Ricochet? Yes, please. Ciampa vs Gargano? Well, to be honest, we’ve probably seen that enough, but it will still be good! TakeOver Brooklyn IV was all set-up to be a classic. I guess we should find out whether it was.
Night two of WWE’s stint at Royal Albert Hall could be classed as the first ever episode of NXT UK. Although something tells me that the cards won’t be quite this stacked every week. On paper, it had the potential to make you feel all fuzzy inside. Let’s see if they succeeded.
We’ve left Download Festival behind for the first night proper of 2018’s UK Championship Tournament. WWE has moved things to the slightly more sophisticated surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall where they aren’t only bashing through the quarters, but the semis and the final as well. Let’s hope time constraints don’t damage what has the potential to be a good show.
With ITV having finally taped some shows for their World Of Sport reboot, it’s no surprise to see WWE has decided to do something with their UK Title. After hinting at it for well over a year, they’ve announced NXT UK, with a second UK Championship Tournament working as the build-up. The First Round took place both at Full Sail and Download Festival, so let’s have a look at what went down.
At its best, wrestling is a perfect blend of physical excellence and inspired storytelling. It weaves two separate art forms together to create something that thrills and engages at the same time. It can survive with only one of them. PWG usually jettisons stories in the name of in-ring action while WWE is more focused on telling Vince’s tales than putting on five-star matches (even if it is often done poorly). However, at its peak, the two blend to create magic.