The SmarK Rant for the Mae Young Classic – S02E02
Taped from Full Sail
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Beth Phoenix & Renee Young
Round One: Priscilla Kelly v. Deonna Purrazzo
Clearly Purrazzo is one of the people on their short-list, although it would be helpful if she had a Jeff Jarrett gimmick where she spelled her name for us all the time so I could keep track of all the double letters. Kelly reminds me of Nikki Sixx and/or Mick Mars in the 80s with that hairpiece and entrance gear. They do a headscissors on the mat and Deonna escapes with a headstand and rolls her up for two. She goes for the armbar, but Kelly puts her down with a pump kick for two. We get an awkward transition into a low kick from Kelly for two and she goes to a dragon sleeper and that gets two. Blind charge misses and Purrazzo gets a hiptoss and a dropkick for two. Kelly comes back with a lariat for two, but Purrazzo legsweeps her and rolls into the armbar for the submission at 4:30. This is very emotional for her, which Michael Cole immediately ruins by telling us how emotional she is when we can clearly see it on the screen. SHUT UP, COLE. Anyway, this was OK. But it seems really pointless to have these girls do 50/50 matches with comebacks and stuff when it’s clear that Purrazzo is the one they’re pushing. Why not just have a squash and be done with it? *1/2
First Round: Zeuxis v. “Big Swole” Ariel Monroe
This seems like a style clash in the making. Natalya is watching at ringside, and she is also a trailblazer, apparently. So basically anyone in the women’s division before 2014 was a trailblazer. Monroe is married to Cedric Alexander and is very protective of her hair. So Zeuxis goes after it and Monroe smacks her down. Zeuxis throws her around the ring by the hair and that gets two. To the abdominal stretch, but Monroe reverses to a crucifix for two. Zeuxis with a camel clutch, but Monroe kicks her down for two. Zeuxis gets a nice rollup for two, but Monroe gets a flatliner and they fight to the top. Zeuxis bring her down with a Spanish Fly, however, and gets the pin to advance at 5:10. And they actually cut to ringside, where Ariel’s child is crying because mom lost! Aw man, that’s harsh. Another, er, OK…ish match with not much going on. * I dunno, Ariel is clearly very into the whole character and she’s got charisma, but this was kind of a trainwreck.
Reina Gonzalez v. Kacy Catanzaro
Kacy, from American Ninja Warrior, is TINY, and has a unique entrance where she scales the ringpost on the way in. That’s pretty cool. Kacy shoots in for a takedown and Reina hurls her around the ring as a result. Kacy with a nice gymnastic headscissors off the top, but she gets caught with a backbreaker and choked out on the ropes. Reina with a spinning slam for two, although physics doesn’t really lend itself to the direction she was going with it. Kacy escapes a submission move and falls victim to the dreaded clubbing blows and a powerslam for two. Gonzalez misses a blind charge and hits the post. Kacy fights back with dropkicks to the knee and springboards with a dropkick for two. Rollup finishes at 4:47. Standard David v. Goliath type of match. *
Ashley Rayne v. Mercedes Martinez
I guess we’re just pretending that all the years of being Madison Rayne in TNA don’t exist. They’re so weird about that kind of thing. Like, why half-assed change the name, then? Clearly she’s one of the biggest name wrestlers in the tournament. Rayne tries a rollup and gets dropped on her head by Mercedes for two. Mercedes with a delayed suplex, but Rayne reverses a second try into a neckbreaker for two. Mercedes with a spinebuster for two. Rayne makes the comeback and gets a neckbreaker before going up with a crossbody and a Roll the Dice for two. Remember the mid-2000s when EVERYONE was using that damn move as a finisher? Rayne tries a dragon sleeper, but Mercedes reverses her into a cradle suplex, which Rayne counters into a rollup for two. Enzuigiri and another dragon sleeper from Rayne, but Martinez puts her down with a knee and hits a fisherman’s buster to finish at 8:35. Definitely not the way I would have gone with it, but this was clearly the most professionally worked match of the show. **1/2 But the important thing is that Newsweek broke the story of Mercedes being in the tournament this year! Shut up, Cole.
I was kind of bored with this episode, to be honest. No actual good matches and not much in the way of interesting personalities here, and their idea of build is telling us which news outlet “broke the story” about the person entering the tournament. Better luck next week, I guess.