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Wrestle Respawn – The Mae Young Classic: Episode 1

Following on from the success of last year’s Cruiserweight Classic, WWE have decided to do another large tournament this year as well, with the difference being that this will be women only. There’s some impressive talent involved in this and each episode is under an hour long, so I’ve decided to cover it for the site. I’ll aim to have one episode up every Friday, so keep an eye out.

This event is emanating from Full Sail University in Florida

Calling the action are Jim Ross and Lita

Round of 32 Match
Kay Lee Ray Vs Princessa Sugehit

It’s Scotland Vs Mexico in this opening bout. It’s kind of ironic that Lita is doing commentary here, as I’m sure she was a big influence on a lot of the women in this tournament, Kay Lee included. Kay Lee Ray describes herself as hardcore style in the pre-match video, whereas Sugehit is your traditional luchador.

The pre-match handshake goes by without incident, and the two trade some strikes early on to the crowd’s enjoyment. Ray goes for a Gory Special, but Sugehit counters into a Code Red for a two count. Ray keeps throwing strikes in an attempt to keep Sugehit grounded, whilst Sugehit tries to use her lucha techniques to stay in the contest.

Ray gets a Complete Shot for two, and then transitions into a Koji Clutch, but Sugehit is able to fight her way out of it. Sugehit makes the comeback and gets a Tajiri-style kick for two. Kay Lee comes back with a Gory Bomb for a good near fall, and the fans are into this battle. Kay Lee goes up for a swanton bomb, but Sugehit is able to move out of the way and cranks on a Fujiwara arm bar for the submission victory

WINNER PRINCESSA SUGEHIT

RATING **

This was a nicely worked 6-7 minute TV match, and was an interesting battle of ring styles.

Round of 32 Match
Vanessa Bourne Vs Serena Deeb

Bourne comes across as a cocky heel in the pre-match video, whilst Deeb comes across as a sympathetic babyface working a redemption arc. Serena used to be in WWE a few years ago (in the straight edge society), but ended up getting let go due to her personal demons. We see that main roster women’s star Naomi is watching from the crowd.

The match starts out with a tenacious lock up, which leads to Deeb getting some arm drags. Bourne counters a monkey flip in the corner with a big headbutt and then takes over with some basic heat. It’s mostly strikes but it looks okay and does the job of making fans sympathetic to Serena’s cause.

Deeb makes a comeback with some punches and gets a neck breaker but Bourne kicks out. Deeb gets a gut buster and charges at Bourne in the corner, but Bourne is able to dodge and hit her own neckbreaker for a two count from the ref. Bourne follows up with a Samoan Drop for another two but misses a splash and Deeb is able to catch her with a spear for the pin fall.

WINNER – SERENA DEEB

RATING – *1/2

This was a basic TV match. There was nothing wrong with it at all, but it was short and quite cookie cutter. Deeb did look very good though.

Charly Caruso is in the control centre hyping up the following match

Round of 32 Match
Zeda Vs Shayna Baszler

Zeda comes across as an underdog in the pre-match video, whilst Baszler comes across as a confident striker with a legitimate MMA background. Ronda Rousey and Marina Shafir are ringside cheering on their friend Baszler. Zeda is apparently representing China in this (The country I believe, not the now sadly deceased former wrestler)

Baszler refuses the pre-match handshake, as the bloodthirsty Full Sail crowd starts chanting that “Shayna’s gonna kill you”. This is a shoot style match, with both ladies clearly knowing how to roll on the mat. Zeda tries a guillotine choke, but Baszler powers her way out and turns it into a rear naked choke for the quick submission win.

WINNER – SHAYNA BASZLER

RATING – N/A

This was too short to really rate but it did a great job getting Baszler over as a badass. She kind of gives off a Baron Corbin vibe actually. Baszler celebrates with her pals post-match.

Round of 32 Match
Abbey Laith Vs Jazzy Gabert

Jazzy is the former Alpha Female, a big monster from Germany who is not to be trifled with. Laith is a gutsy striker who idolises Mae Young and used to be a ballet dancer. Gabert tries to intimidate Laith by pulling her in during the pre-match handshake. Laith fires up early on but Gabert no sells all of it and starts chucking her around by the hair with reckless abandon.

Gabert puts Laith in a cobra clutch and works her over as Laith tries to find a way out. Laith sells the punishment from Gabert well and finally manages to get back into the match with a tarantula. She fires off some kicks and finally chops Gabert down for two. Gabert keeps coming like a horror movie monster, and even kicks out of a swanton bomb from Laith.

Gabert smashes Laith with a big lariat and then starts pummelling her with punches from the mount. Gabert picks up Laith and looks to be going for a Dominator, but Laith is able to counter it into a pinning hold, that Mae Young herself used to use, to pick up the winning pin fall.

WINNER – ABBEY LAITH

RATING – **1/2

This was a very enjoyable big vs little match that told a very good story. The execution was crisp and with a bit more time it could have easily garnered a higher rating. The Full Sail crowd seems a bit disappointed that Gabert is out and it does seem strange that they’d take the monster out so early in the tournament. Garbert really got herself over here though, so hopefully WWE consider signing her if they haven’t already. Gabert hugs Laith post-match in a nice moment.

Overall Thoughts
A good start to the tournament, with two solid matches and they did a good job establishing a lot of the competitors characters going forward. Definitely worth a watch.

Thanks for reading

Until next time;

Enjoy Yourselves!!!

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