I’ve been on a wrestling hiatus. I say wrestling because although I’ve been actively avoiding WWE, there are five episodes of Lucha Underground that are sitting in my DVR, including the much anticipated bout between Rey Mysterio (who has slowly gotten back into my good graces) and Johnny Mundo (who has improved tremendously since leaving the WWE).
However, I made a promise that I would watch the WWE Women’s tournament back when they first announced it. The filming of the matches of what was eventually named the Mae Young Classic, named for one of the greatest old broads who ever old broaded, was done back in July and I miraculously avoided spoilers.
The first round of the tournament aired Monday, August 28th in four episodes that were posted to the WWE Network, and after giving up on Monday Night Raw after a few minutes, I decided to fulfill my promise to myself and watch the first round while it was still the topic of conversation and not wait like I am with quite a few other things.
I was not disappointed. Instead of reviewing all sixteen matches one by one, I’m just going to highlight the good and the bad of the opening round.
- Humble brag time: I went to Wrestlemania 31 two years ago, and during that weekend me and my former podcasting partner also took in a few independent shows, including a SHIMMER Chick Fight Tournament. It’s amazing to see women that were on that show two years ago wrestling for the WWE and in this tournament. Mia Yim, Evie, Nicole Savoy, Candace LeRae, Kimber Lee and Kay Lee Ray all participated in the Chick Fight tournament, while Nikki Storm, Evie, Kimber Lee and Athena are all working in NXT and I’m sure that quite a few of the women in this tournament will be signed in the future. Speaking of Mia Yim…
- Her match against Sarah Logan, the former Crazy Mary Dobson was the best match of the first round.
- Kairi Sane is cute and I don’t say that to be offensive or to stereotype. That elbow is pretty vicious. A solid prediction that I made was that Kairi would be the one to stop Asuka’s reign on the NXT Women’s division, which meant that Asuka would hold on to that belt a hell of a long time, but we see how that turned out.
- Good to see Serena Deeb. Sucks what happened to her back 2010 but I’m glad to see her cleaned up.
- Lacey Evans was definitely giving me Liberty Belle vibes. Or did Liberty Belle get her vibes from Lacey Evans?
- Jazzy Gabert ladies and gentlemen. Never seen this woman before in my life, I want to see her again.
- Bianca BelAire is a beast.
- I’m really happy to see that Women’s wrestling in the WWE has evolved.
- Good to see Mercedes Martinez, I’ve been hearing about this woman for years. Which leads to an excellent point in…
- The WWE could’ve hired a whole bunch of the women they probably considered for this tournament if they weren’t on that Divas bullshit 10+ years ago.
- I like Marti Belle. I have no quarrel with Rachel
ElleringEvans. Their match was dry. Like chardonnay dry. And if you like chardonnay I can’t fuck with you.
- Stephanie McMahon’s voice at the beginning of the show. All up in the videos….
- I do not like Tessa Blanchard. Part of that may be because of Ricochet. Like maybe 35%. I know it’s none of my business. I can still hate.
- Having to wait for the next few episodes.
Anyway, if you have yet to watch the tournament, you have a whole week to catch up before the second round airs Labor Day. The finals will be live in Las Vegas on September 12th, all on the WWE Network.
*Edited to mention the fabulous Kimber Lee, bka Abbey Laith who held her own against Jazzy Gabert.