We are deep into the first round of the inaugural WWE Mae Young Classic, as 32 of the top women’s wrestlers on the planet seek to claim the title of best in the world. Eight women have so far moved on to the Round of 16, and here on episode 3, four more will look to join the ranks. The United Kingdom’s Ayesha Raymond will take on the second Aussie in the tournament in Toni Storm, whilst the Indian Kavita Devi will face the hard striker, Dakota Kai of New Zealand. Bianca Belair will do battle with Sage Beckett, and in the final match of the show, the large and in charge Scotswoman Piper Niven will do battle with WWE’s own Santana Garett. And as always, the show as filmed at Full Sail University, the home of NXT, with WWE Hall of Famers Jim Ross and Lita providing commentary.
I’ll admit, I am only familiar with a handful of the competitors, so this will be mostly a ‘clean slate’ for me to form my opinions.
+ Bianca Belair vs Sage Beckett (First Round Match): Beckett, formerly known as TNA wrestling’s Rosie Lottalove, looked a little bit sloppy in this match, but Belair is well known as a phenomenal athlete, especially innovative with her long braided hair. Beckett’s power moves were standard stuff, but impressively performed, and Belair’s vertical leap was incredible. This was not going to be considered one of the best matches of the tournament, but it was fine
+ Kavita Devi vs Dakota Kai (First Round Match): the first ever Indian woman to compete in a WWE ring looked very impressive, whilst Kai came across more like a school girl lost on her way to the beach (she looked tiny!). Devi had power moves to combat Kai’s speed, and this was a good match (though frankly, I don’t know if I agree with the winner)
+ Ayesha Raymond vs Toni Storm (First Round Match): Raymond has an attire reminiscent of Kharma/Awesome Kong, though she stands at over 6-foot tall, whilst Storm looked more like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Storm looked very impressive against the much larger and stronger opponent, but Raymond never quite made her mark as the monster I think she wanted to be. This was a fun match, and the crowd was really into it
– Piper Niven vs Santana Garrett (First Round Match): Piper (also known as Viper) is easily the largest competitor, and her moveset matches the package, if you will. Niven looked good as the larger powerhouse, but Garrett was surprisingly bland as the underdog, and the match never quite felt important, certainly not enough to main event the show
> Toni Storm joins Rhea Ripley from episode 2 as one my favourites. It’s an Aussie thing. I’m a sucker for the accent (and hot blondes)
Should you watch this event: This was a better episode than the previous, with all matches before the main event being worth watching, and Toni Storm, Kavita Devi and Bianca Belair all looking good in their matches.