We’re getting closer and closer to the finals.
The quarterfinals of the Mae Young Classic were held last night, and the semifinals are now set with the final four women. It was a night of emotional highs and lows, so as always let’s get right into it!
Quarter Final: Meiko Satomura vs Lacey Lane
Kicking off the action was the upstart, Lacey Lane, taking on the living legend, Meiko Satomura.
To get here, Lane had to knock off Vanessa Kraven and Taynara Conti, while Satomura beat Killer Kelly and Mercedes Martinez.
After a little back and forth action, Lane’s Cinderella story finally came to an end by way of a Satomura Death Valley Driver.
If there was one thing to be learned from this match, it’s to never refuse a Satomura handshake. Lane did just that and once she did, it was game on. For almost the entire match, the hometown girl was playing catch up. I just wished they gave them a few more minutes for good measure.
Beth Phoenix made a very good point about Satomura on commentary; she said she’s like the Serena Williams of wrestling because every time she steps into the ring, she always has an incredible level of performance. It’s the absolute truth because I have not been disappointed once after watching her matches so far.
While Lane’s run in the tournament is over, I will be interested to see what she does in NXT. She has what it takes to be a star, so let’s see what she can do with it.
Quarter Final: Io Shirai vs Deanna Purrazzo
Then came a clash of fan-favorites, as Io Shirai faced off against Deonna Purrazzo.
Shirai took down Xia Brookside and Zeuxis to advance, while Purrazzo eliminated Priscilla Kelly and Xia Li.
Technical ability clashed with high-flying, but when it was all said and done, the Genius of the Sky defeated Purrazzo after hitting another Asai moonsault.
This one had a slower pace to start off, but it picked up rather quickly as each woman took turns trading offense with one another. On two separate occasions Purrazzo locked Shirai in the Fujiwara Armbar, but could not put her away.
I think Shirai looked better in this match than her previous ones, but again looked like she overshot her moonsault. Regardless, she’s fun to watch in the ring and is moving on to the semifinals.
I’m excited to see where Purrazzo goes from here. Expect big things in the future from the Virtuosa.
Quarter Final: Tegan Nox vs Rhea Ripley
Up next was Tegan Nox taking on the Aussie, Rhea Ripley.
Nox defeated Zatara and Nicole Matthews to advance to the quarterfinals, while Ripley dispatched MJ Jenkins and Kacy Catanzaro.
After hitting a suicide dive to the outside, it was apparent that Nox injured her left knee. While she did her best to stay in the match, she eventually could not continue and the referee awarded the win to Ripley. She now goes on to face Io Shirai in the semifinals.
Before the bell even rang, I had that looming sense of dread about what I was going to witness. I didn’t realize Nox got injured that early on, but once she landed on the ramp it did not look good. Major props to her for trying to keep going, but it was very hard to watch.
Right after that final dropkick by Ripley, you can see Nox herself throwing up the ‘X’. Hearing her crying in pain and saying, “I can’t do it again.” was absolutely heartbreaking and quite honestly brought me to tears. As the doctors and training staff checked on her, you could hear a pin drop throughout the entire arena.
Get well soon, Tegan. We’re all rooting for you and know you can comeback from this. The Girl with the Shiniest Wizard will wrestle again for NXT, mark my words.
Quarter Final: Toni Storm vs Mia Yim
Finishing the night was a heavy-hitting bout between Mia Yim and Toni Storm.
Yim’s path to the quarterfinals saw her beat Allysin Kay and Kaitlyn, while Storm took down Jinny and Hiroyo Matsumoto.
While Yim had control for most of the match, Storm once again found a way to come away with the victory after hitting her Storm Zero finisher. She now moves on to face Meiko Satomura in the semifinals.
With how popular and well-established these women are, I was happy to see them close out the night. I was a little worried about how the crowd would respond after what happened prior, but they were into it and split right down the middle.
Much like in her previous match, Yim’s injured hand was again the target of numerous attacks. Despite that, she was able to ground Storm for long portions of the bout. But in typical Storm fashion, the Rockstar battled back time and time again until she finally put her opponent away.
I absolutely love Yim and hated to see her go, but I’m thrilled that she was signed to NXT. She’s going to be a star here and I can’t wait to see her make her mark in WWE.
Storm is now on a collision course with Satomura. Prepare yourselves, as this match could easily blow the roof off of Full Sail.