WWE Mae Young Classic Round One Review: Japanese legend Meiko Satomura shines in her WWE debut
- Show: WWE Mae Young Classic
- Location: Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida
- Date: Wednesday September 5, 2018
- Review by: Amin Ajani
We began with a video package recapping my favourite wrestler Kairi Sane winning the inaugural WWE Mae Young Classic and then went into a package showcasing the competitors in this year’s tournament. The finals of the Mae Young Classic will take place at the first-ever all-women’s PPV WWE Evolution on Sunday October 28
Tegan Nox def. Zatara – Round One of the Mae Young Classic
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Nox came out, got a big reaction as the fans loudly chanted for her. The match started with some chain wrestling. Nox delivered back-to-back arm drags and followed up with a nice looking head scissors takedown. Zatara played heel as she went for a handshake but instead kicked Nox in the midsection. Zatara delivered a takedown and followed up with a sliding dropkick. Zatara grabbed a handful of Nox’s hair and then delivered a running low dropkick for a near fall. Zatara then worked over the surgically repaired knee of Nox as she wrapped it around the middle turnbuckle/rope. Zatara then delivered a running dropkick into the knee of Nox. Zatara applied a knee bar but Nox grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Nox showed that she has a heart of a champion as she delivered forearms and followed up with a running uppercut into the turnbuckle. Nox delivered a beautiful looking flying crossbody to Zatara for a close near fall. Zatara made a comeback as she delivered a flying missile dropkick and followed up with a running double knees into the turnbuckle but Nox kicked out for a very good near fall. Finish of the match came when Zatara missed a sliding elbow as Nox delivered a beautiful looking Shining Wizard for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match to kick off the second annual WWE Mae Young Classic as it was great to see Nox wrestling again. Zatara was solid and did a good job playing the heel. Nox was the star of this match as plays a great babyface as she’s so likeable. Nox looked very good and her ring movement is solid.)
Rhea Ripley def. MJ Jenkins – Round One of the Mae Young Classic
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 3/4
The crowd chanted for Ripley but she wasn’t impressed. Jenkins delivered arm drags and followed up with a springboard arm drag. Jenkins attempted a springboard but Ripley caught her with a big forearm. Ripley delivered a sliding dropkick for a near fall. Ripley delivered a clothesline for another near fall. Ripley delivered strikes to Jenkins in the corner. Ripley then showed off her power by delivering a great looking delayed vertical suplex to Jenkins for a near fall. Ripley applied an abdominal stretch and then followed up with a face buster for a near fall. Jenkins made a comeback as she delivered forearms and followed up with a shoulder tackle. Jenkins delivered a headkick and followed up with a flying missile dropkick but Ripley kicked out. Finish of the match came when Jenkins missed a round kick as Riply delivered pump handle powerbomb for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: Jenkins looked good and has the ability to play a great babyface. This felt like a showcase match for Rhea Ripley as she was the star. From her facial reactions to showcasing her power game, there is something special I see in Ripley and could very easily become a huge star.)
Lacey Lane def. Vanessa Kraven – Round One of the Mae Young Classic
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 1/4
They told the David vs. Goliath story here as Lane was using her quickness to avoid the power of Kraven. Lane delivered a head kick and followed up with strikes in the corner. Lane attempted a springboard but it was missed timed as she fell to the floor. Kraven hung Lane upside down again on the ropes and delivered a big chop. Kraven delivered a running cannonball into the turnbuckle but Lane kicked out for a near fall. Kraven delivered more chops and followed up by applying the Canadian backbreaker. Lane wouldn’t give up as she made a comeback by delivering a low superkick. Lane delivered a running jumping knee to Kraven in the corner. Kraven caught Lane coming off the ropes as she delivered a spinning sidewalk slam for a near fall. The crowd lightly chanted for Lane wanting to see her make a comeback. Kraven went for a running cannonball but Lane moved as the Canadian went into the turnbuckle. Lane then jumped on Kraven’s back, delivered a Crucifix bomb and got the upset win.
(Amin’s Analysis: There were some rough spots early on but this turned into a good match as both Kraven and Lane worked hard. Lane is very athletic and her ring movement is good. I also liked Kraven’s presence as she has great facial reactions.)
-Backstage: Was nice to see Shadia Bseiso backstage interviewing Natalya. Natlaya told Shadia that it great to see so many talented women who share the same passion as her. Natlaya mentioned that Io Shirai (my pick to win the Mae Young Classic) and Mia Yim as her favourites.
Meiko Satomura def. Killer Kelly – Round One of the Mae Young Classic
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4
The fans at Full Sail University stood up as Japanese legend Meiko Satomura came out for the main event. Satomura has great presence as the fans chanted “Meiko.” The match opened with both Kelly and Satomura exchanging leg kicks. Kelly applied a head scissors but Satomura broke free by delivering a forearm smash. Kelly delivered a bicycle kick for a near fall. There was a terrific spot as Satomura jumped the turnbuckle, delivered an arm drag, applied a modified Boston Crab and then transitioned into a STF but Kelly grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Satomura delivered a takedown and followed up with rapid fire kicks. Satomura delivered a jumping knee for a near fall. Kelly delivered a vertical suplex for a near fall. Kelly went for another bicycle kick but Satomura countered by delivering more kicks as the crowd cheered. Satomura delivered a cartwheel into a knee drop for a near fall. Satomura went to climb the turnbuckle but Kelly stopped her. Kelly placed Satomura in a Dragon Sleeper on the top turnbuckle for a great visual. Kelly delivered a running low dropkick into the turnbuckle and followed up with a Fisherman’s Suplex but Satomura kicked out for a great near fall. The fans chanted “This is Awesome.” Finish of the match came when Satomura delivered a Pele Kick and followed up with a DVD for the win.
- Post-match: Satomura raised Kelly to her feet and then raised her hand as the crowd cheered. Kelly and Satomura bowed to show a great sign of respect.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was really fun professional wrestling match. Kelly was in the main event of the opening round of the Mae Young Classic and she was facing a legend. Kelly stepped up her game and wrestled really hard. She moved really quickly and had great fundamentals. For me, Satomura was the star of this match and the first night of the Mae Young Classic. It was so fun to finally see this legendary wrestler finally compete inside a WWE ring. From her ring moment, to striking ability and facial reaction, Satomura has the perfect form of what a great professional wrestler should look like.)
-Overall: A good night of action to open the second annual WWE Mae Young Classic. I really enjoyed watching the opening match and it was just a joy to watch the legendary Meiko Satomura in action.
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Image Credit – WWE