Day two of the Mae Young Classic is over and four more women have punched their ticket to the second round.
It had a little bit of everything, from a newcomer’s debut to two veterans of the ring squaring off. While I personally think it wasn’t as good as last week’s set of matches, there were still some bright spots.
First Round: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Priscilla Kelly
In the opening contest of the night, we saw Deonna Purrazzo make her highly-anticipated return against the upstart Priscilla Kelly.
From the start, it was clear that Purrazzo was going to win this match. It was a back and forth contest for the most part, but I was just waiting for her to lock in that deadly Fujiwara armbar. Once it happened, it was all over for Hell’s Favorite Harlot.
It was a decent start to the night, but it wasn’t really anything that impressed me. While Purrazzo showed off her amazing technical skills and Kelly showed off her vicious strikes and holds, they didn’t have a lot of chemistry in the ring.
For someone that was heavily marketed as using brutal mind games, Kelly didn’t do any of that in this match. Besides refusing to shake Purrazzo’s hand and slapping it away, she did nothing else after that made me think, “Wow, she really knows how to mess with her opponent’s head!”.
Either way, the Virtuosa is moving on to the second round and rightfully so.
Zeuxis vs. Aerial Monroe
Up next was Zeuxis taking on the highly charismatic Aerial Monroe.
The masked luchadora was in control most of the match, but Monroe was able to stay in it throughout. Even though she had the crowd at Full Sail completely on her side, Big Swole was upset by Zeuxis after an impressive Spanish Fly from the top rope. The crowd was not happy at all, booing once Zeuxis was announced as the winner.
Watching Monroe was very entertaining, especially at the beginning when she threatened Zeuxis for touching her hair. These two were polar opposites, which should have helped balanced each other out. However, this match seemed kind of hit and miss at times, and wasn’t as good as it could have been.
I was personally hoping for Monroe to pull out the victory. Once she lost, I was immediately reminded of a similar match-up last year: Kay Lee Ray vs. Princesa Sugehit. Back then I thought there was no way that Ray was going to lose, but Sugehit pulled off the upset. Same thing here, I thought that Monroe was the easy pick to win here but Zeuxis had other plans.
She also made Monroe’s daughter cry, not cool at all!
Kacy Catanzaro vs. Reina Gonzalez
In another David-vs.-Goliath style match-up, Kacy Catanzaro took on Reina Gonzalez. This was a complete mismatch of sizes, with the 6-foot tall Gonzalez towering over the 4’11” Catanzaro.
From the start it seemed as if the Texan would dispatch her opponent with ease, throwing her around like a rag doll and punishing her with brute strength. But the American Ninja Warrior fought back and showed off her gymnastics skills with some pretty cool maneuvers. She then caught Gonzalez in a roll-up and picked up upset win.
This was a pretty good contest, showing off Gonzalez’s size and strength while also showcasing Catanzaro’s tenacity and athleticism. The ending was also a nice touch, with Gonzalez hoisting her competitor on her shoulders after the match instead of attacking her. However, I still don’t understand the blue jean chaps, but I digress!
Many people were doubting what Catanzaro could do inside the ring, but I think she proved them all wrong. It looks like she’s adapting to the wrestling quite nicely and will only get better with time. It’ll be interesting to see what else she can do, but she has a pretty big challenge awaiting her in the second round in Rhea Ripley.
Ashley Rayne vs. Mercedes Martinez
In the final bout of the night, two veterans squared off with Ashley Rayne facing Mercedes Martinez.
With over 30 years of experience, this one was going to be quite entertaining. Rayne and Martinez traded momentum throughout the match and showed why they have both been around for so long. Perhaps the best part was Martinez holding Rayne in a vertical suplex for over 30 seconds, much to the delight of the crowd. The Latina Sensation was finally able to hit her fisherman’s buster finisher for the victory.
This was probably my favorite match of the night. However, it was a shame to see one of these women eliminated in the first round. Martinez seems more focused than ever this time around, coming into the tournament in the best shape of her career. Her second round opponent will be none other than Meiko Satomura, so prepare yourselves for a fantastic match.