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    Tuesday, October 9, 2018

    The Smark Henry Mae Young Classic 2018 Review (10/3/18): Tita Fight!

    We're off to an excellent start for the Round of Sweet 16 in the Mae Young Classic!

    Looks like we have once again earned the favor of the wrestling higher beings, because we have been blessed early with two of our favorite titas in the tournament in Mercedes Martinez and Meiko Satomura!

    Toni Storm def. Hiroyo Matsumoto

    KP: Haha, women are number one.

    The second round started off with a damn fine display between Storm and Matsumoto. Both felt like they had a fair chance of advancing until the last few minutes. The match’s consistent tone made the surprise ending a pleasant twist rather than an abrupt end.

    Matsumoto was able to show off her power better here than the last round because she’s no longer partnered with an absolute disaster. Her resilience in the face of Storm’s many beautiful suplexes also attested to her strength. But in this round, Storm’s craftiness allowed her to weather Lady Godzilla’s rage and survive for another day.

    Miyann: I had a hard time writing about this match because I didn’t get the hype behind it. Maybe it’s because I’m currently tired of watching puroresu and it’s a puro match psychology-wise, or maybe because both of them are babyfaces. I like that Matsumoto tried to be the badder babyface but it didn’t work because she’s really really good in the ring.

    I don’t know if what I’m about to say has something to do in the future of this tournament, but Toni Storm always receives a beating (abugbog ni Berna), has a short comeback, then wins. I strongly believe that they will play up her smarts for her next matches.

    Ardelle: What an opener from two women I have grown to love, thanks to this tournament! Toni and Hiroyo were neck and neck in this match, as they have faced each other in Japan. I appreciate the fact that this was addressed in their opening promos, hence giving more depth in this match.

    While it was obvious that Toni is going to make it far in this tournament, there was actually a bit of doubt in my head whether she could really put Hiroyo away in this match. While Storm had a lot of brief but destructive comebacks (god her German release suplexes were things of beauty), Matsumoto was living up to her nickname of Lady Destroyer! In the end, Toni Time prevailed with a jackknife pin to a bridge but one would think that she only got lucky.

    Kayfabe aside, I was actually worried that Matsumoto would take a devastating loss to bow out of the tournament, and I'm glad that she lost that way. She was painted to be a destructive force to all women, and it would be such a shame if she lost badly.

    I know Toni's going to do great, but I already miss Hiroyo. I'm going to finish my backlog of joshi puroresu from now on.

    Rhea Ripley def. Kacy Catanzaro

    KP: Haha w o w  w o m e n except for Catanzaro

    The best thing I can say about this match is it allowed me to watch Rhea Ripley destroy a celeb-athlete-turned-wrestler-who-should-have-lost-to-her-first-round-opponent.

    Now, some might say: Hey, that’s unfair, Catanzaro did the best she could at her skill level and Ripley made her look halfway okay. To which I respond: hahahahaha, not everyone has to be positive about a match with an enthusiastic newbie in it if it doesn’t click with them, and Catanzaro clicks with me as well as the second rope clicked with her first attempt at a dropkick.

    (Fucking seriously, Catanzaro won with a rolling pin against a woman twice her weight and size, that’s unbelievable even for pro wrestling WTF ugh where is Khabib to avenge this injustice)

    (Full disclosure: I replayed that boot to the stomach and Rip Tide five times, it felt SO SATISFYING.)

    Miyann: I was surprised to see what Catanzaro can do in the ring. I like it when wrestlers add their personal touch on moves. At first, I had this mentality of not liking newbies who got into the business because of their popularity, but that changed this round. I hope that Catanzaro and WWE can utilize her ability.

    Now let’s talk about the match! Rhea was able to play the part of a bigger woman with her moves and swag—which made this a better David vs. Goliath match than others. Rhea’s facials were amazing—her eyebrow raise was badass. On the other hand, I think Catanzaro could be a better Queen of Strong Smile than the person currently holding that title.

    It was a good match. I legitimately thought that Catanzaro was going to win, but thank God she didn’t. I want to see more of Rhea!

    Ardelle: Another David vs. Goliath match for Kacy here. I expected Rhea to ragdoll Kacy around, but it didn't happen! Kacy brought her A-game and almost beat Rhea with her speed, but Rhea was the bigger and stronger person, so Kacy bowed out of Round 2.

    I have finally seen what Kacy is capable of doing (which I missed out on in her match against Reina), and I cannot wait for her on NXT. Kacy and Ricochet tag team on NXT TV when?

    While it was kind of cartoony sometimes, Rhea sold Kacy's offense pretty well. She knows that Kacy's not really a massive person, so she sells them like she's knocked off her feet, but not entirely. The match was okay. And Rhea continues her mean streak. The crowd is going to chant "Rhea's gonna kill you" anytime soon.

    Envy Lacey Lane def. Taynara Conti

    KP: Haha women are the best.

    I’m not completely sure what the shooting order was for the second round, but since this match was presented after the Ripley-Catanzaro match, I’m blaming this sprint on Catanzaro.

    Speaking of Catanzaro, her performance paled in comparison with the less than 30 seconds (citation needed) of offense Envy Lane was able to get in this match.

    It takes two to tango, and it absolutely shows if a vet is partnered with a chump. In this case, Conti’s skills scaled better with Lane than Ripley’s with Catanzaro. The smaller skill gap resulted in a fun sprint that showed Lane’s promise and Conti’s advancement, whereas Catanzaro’s greenness was amplified to the point that I tasted Brussels sprouts while watching Ripley’s many adjustments for her sake.

    If I sound bitter or like any sweaty, unwashed wrestling fan on the Internet, just understand that I think Catanzaro still has room and time to improve (e.g. just look at Gonzales, who totally should’ve won)—I just wish I didn’t have to watch any of her matches right now.

    Miyann: Just like what I’ve said in our previous review, I like Taynara’s focus on winning the tournament. She did everything that she could to win it, and it showed with her facials and desperation in-ring.

    Wild guess: Lane being called “Cinderella” in her last two matches means that she’ll be eaten alive next round.

    Ardelle: Wasn't expecting anything from this match, to be honest. Maybe I appreciate the fact that this was a short match because both women are still relatively green. But while both women still have lots of room to improve, what surprised me though is that they actually have chemistry together! I really had no clue who's moving on to the quarterfinals, so I was very surprised that they are actually going all in on Lacey Lane!

    I had no qualms about her moving on to the next round, but after knowing that the winner here will face the winner of Meiko vs. Mercedes, I wanted to see Taynara vs. Meiko or Taynara vs. Mercedes more! But oh well. *shrugs*

    Meiko Satomura def. Mercedes Martinez

    KP: Haha I would be honored to have my ass kicked by either women. Kick my ass queens!!

    If you could only see the draft I had for my initial review for this, you would probably die of second-hand embarrassment. Just… DID YOU WATCH THAT?? DID YOU SEE THE KEYLOCK SATOMURA PUT ON TITA MERCY ON THAT EARLY PIN AND THAT QUICK ARM SLAP BY MARTINEZ TO MAKE THAT STUNNING UPPERCUT CRISP MOTHERFUCKER ATTENTION TO DETAIL it was quite good, indeed.

    This is what happens when you pit true blue vets against each other: a fucking clinic that WWE should absolutely show at the Performance Center as a shining example of what new female wrestlers should dream to become.

    “But that’s to be expected!” “What about the new girls, those are the real important matches.” To anyone with these sentiments, I’m sure your mother loved you at some point, but please go back to your diva stan accounts and let me enjoy this ABSOLUTE BEAUTY OF A MATCH.

    I don’t care if a good match is expected from these two, they executed that expectation and then some. What’s the point of gassing up mediocre matches (e.g. some of the matches in the first round) if they don’t live up to the fluff? At least this felt genuine through and through.

    Ahem, anyway. Satomura’s rage unleashed was rib-crushing to behold and justified Martinez’s constant attempts to cage her in early on. If there were some who were disappointed with Martinez’s performance in the first round, this should satisfy them because she reminded folks just fucking why she was a semi-finalist last year.

    At the same time, if Satomura loses in her next match, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a riot, because the red empress of Sendai practically slapped everyone who ever deigned to think that she was overhyped upside the head.

    As Cole said, this is the match of the tournament so far and the standing ovation it earned not even near the end was a worthy tribute.

    Miyann: I have been excited for this match since the participants were announced. Both of them entered the ring as babyfaces and went out as babyfaces. It was a nice touch because they didn’t need to have the basic heel vs. babyface match, they were just there to fight.

    Loved the way the match switched its pace. I remember saying that Martinez and Satomura were like sleeping oil -- they needed something hot to wake them up. AND HOLY MOTHER OF MOOOs, they did everything to hurt each other.

    There was a part of match where I think Mercedes got pissed at Meiko because she wasn’t selling the elbow strikes. But both of them are professionals and instantly went back to the real deal afterwards (I can say this because of the little mannerism they did as time went by).

    Best match of the tournament so far. Love you Tita Mercy. *heart heart*

    Ardelle: B I G  M A T C H  F E E L and we freaking got it at the second round of MYC! SECOND ROUND!!

    It's tough to pick between legends like Meiko Satomura and Mercedes Martinez. Both are living legends (yes, I said it again), but Mercedes is an MYC veteran who only talks about winning the whole shebang. My personal sympathy is with her WHICH MADE THE ENTIRE ORDEAL AN EMOTIONAL ONE FOR ME.

    Right from the get-go, you know that both women brought their A-game for this. While their first round matches weren't easy, everyone knew they were going through. But not for this round. Mercedes was a viable threat and, of course, Meiko knew that.

    I honestly don't know what else to say about this. Just watch the entire thing, everyone. I was kilig the entire time. Tears were shed when Meiko busted out the Scorpio Rising (!!) for the win, and it was over for our favorite Latina tita.

    Man, I love wrestling when it makes me cry.

    Final thoughts

    KP: Haha I love women.

    Miyann: I wonder what match can top Meiko vs. Mercedes. Can’t wait to find out this week!

    Ardelle: WHAT A BANGER OF AN EPISODE. Still not the best one (Episode 3 still holds the crown for that), but this episode now has my most favorite MYC match so far in Meiko vs. Mercedes. Let’s keep this momentum going!

    Man, do you love women's wrestling as well? Are you going to re-watch Satomura vs. Martinez too?? Sound us off in the comments section!

    Photos from WWE.com
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Mae Young Classic 2018 Review (10/3/18): Tita Fight! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ardelle Costuna
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