MAE YOUNG CLASSIC
Wednesday, October 17th
RESULTS: Meiko Satomura over Lacey Lane, Io Shirai over Deonna Purrazzo, Rhea Ripley over Tegan Nox, Toni Storm over Mia Yim
-The focus of the show was the match involving Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox, which saw Nox suffer another knee injury. The backstory was that Nox had suffered a torn ACL of her right knee in 2017 to keep her out of last year’s Mae Young Classic. In this match, she landed a suicide dive at the start of the match and was instantly aware of her left knee (the good one) was wrecked. Nox tried so hard to continue the match and even took some bumps, but after taking a dropkick the match was waved off. Honestly, the match should have been stopped sooner and it was hard to watch.
–Nox has put out an update that she suffered a torn MCL, LCL & ACL, tore both meniscuses, dislocated her kneecap, and had a fracture of her left tibia. She had surgery on August 23rd (the match happened on August 9th) and said it will be a long road to recovery.
-If was very unfortunate, but credit should be given to Rhea Ripley who never panicked, didn’t break character and stayed in her role throughout the entire match and post-match. Ripley has shown a strong presence throughout this tournament and it’s easy to see why they are high on her.
-I also thought the cutaway to the announcers for Beth Phoenix to react and describe her own knee injury in the past was a nice touch and added to the real situation that fell on them.
-The matches were presented out of order as the Nox and Ripley match was taped after Mia Yim and Toni Storm, but they aired the latter match in the main event slot. I thought they had a fine match that the audience got into by the end. Yim controlled most of the match until Storm kicked Yim’s injured right hand and head-butted her. Storm stopped Soul Food, bent the injured hand and won with the Tiger Driver to advance to the semi-finals. It’s a lot of WWE programming when you have performers in multiple matches across their various Wednesday programs.
-Io Shirai defeated Deonna Purrazzo with the top rope moonsault. Shirai showed some good personality in the match with a subtle mocking of Purrazzo after attacking her body. Purrazzo constantly went for the Fujiwara armbar and Shirai escaped and countered her way out. There was a tease that Shirai would tap and the audience bought it. Cole continues to call Shirai’s top rope moonsault an “Asai moonsault”.
-The opening match saw Meiko Satomura defeat Lacey Lane in a short match. The story was Lane was a heavy underdog and had nothing to lose. Lane fired up with strikes for her lone stretch of offense before falling after a Death Valley Driver. As soon as Satomura pinned her, Michael Cole proclaimed that Lacey Lane “has star written all over her”, it was a strange line to use immediately after Satomura won, even if you understood the objective.
-The semi-finals are next week with Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm and Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley on the final episode before Evolution.
-I thought the wrestling was good throughout, but the main thing was Tegan Nox’s injury and how they presented it on the broadcast.