MAE YOUNG CLASSIC
Wednesday, October 3rd
RESULTS: Toni Storm over Hiroyo Matsumoto, Rhea Ripley over Kacy Catanzaro, Lacey Lane over Taynara Conti, Meiko Satomura over Mercedes Martinez
-The match between Toni Storm and Hiroyo Matsumoto saw Storm play the underdog and sell for 90% of the match. Matsumoto threw everything at her, including the Rock Drop that she won her opening match with, nailed her with a Sliding D and consecutive clotheslines as she locked hold of Storm’s wrist and wouldn’t let go. Storm caught her with a roll up and a bridge. Matsumoto got over well in the tournament and I liked the attention she gave to selling the loss as though it was heartbreaking she came up short. Storm played a strong babyface fighting from underneath and just when it seemed one-sided, she would land a release German and later a bridging German to show signs of life that she was still in the match.
-Rhea Ripley’s win over Kacy Catanzaro was a very interesting match. Catanzaro is very green but her athletic abilities are through the roof and in time she could be great. Catanzaro hit a multiple revolution tornado DDT that came off great. She had several sequences that were not smooth, including a slip off a springboard attempt using the second rope. It was interesting that they opted not to edit the botch out as Catanzaro went back and successfully hit on the second try. The audience got behind her and cheered as she hit it and it hammers home the different type of audience today that doesn’t want to see a match fall apart or chant, “you fucked up” at the performers.
Michael Cole put Catanzaro over strong stating she’s only been training a few months, thus providing context for the botch to integrate it into the match, and that she would be a future star. Ripley won with the Riptide and served as the base for Catanzaro, just as Reina Gonzalez did for Catanzaro in the opening round. This paled in comparison to the first match, but they had a great audience for it and Catanzaro felt like the sentimental favorite to them.
-Lacey Lane and Taynara Conti was a short match. Lane put her over her knee with a hammerlock, struck down on the chest and hit a Sister Abigail maneuver. Conti placed her on her shoulders and was setting up a throw but was hit with the crucifix bomb and Lane pinned her. It felt abrupt, but they are pushing Lane as the Cinderella story of the tournament and continues to advance.
-The main event saw Meiko Satomura defeat Mercedes Martinez in a great match. There was a lot of similar match stories on this show with the underdog taking a beating but then fighting back, in this case, Satomura being on the offensive for the first half of the match. Satomura applied a Fujiwara armbar, hit a top rope frog splash, a cartwheel into a knee drop to the chest and Martinez still kicked out and survived. Finally, Martinez blocked a Pele kick and after numerous attempts, she hit the fisherman buster and Satomura kicked out.
The audience was on their feet after the kick out and elevated the match. After stopping a dragon sleeper, Satormura landed a spinning heel kick and the Scorpion kick to pin Martinez. Both women looked great in this match and Satomura is another that has connected well with the crowd and is among the best performers in the tournament. She will face Lacey Lane in the next round and the announcers were implying that Lane will be significantly overmatched.