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Ashley Rayne and Mercedes Martinez.

Ashley Rayne and Mercedes Martinez.Credit: WWE.com

Wednesday was night two of the second Mae Young Classic tournament. Last week’s show got the tourney off to a great start, so WWE was looking to continue the momentum with this week’s episode.

A few names from last year’s tournament returned this week along with some newcomers, a former TNA Superstar and an American Ninja Warrior contestant who has been training at the Performance Center in Florida.

With the upcoming Evolution pay-per-view, Ronda Rousey as the Raw women’s champion and this event, WWE has put a lot of focus on the women’s division right now.

Let’s take a look at everything that happened on this week’s episode of the Mae Young Classic.

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The first match of the night featured Deonna Purrazzo taking on Priscilla Kelly. Purrazzo was given a great intro by Michael Cole, who called her a virtuoso and one of the most sought-after indy talents before signing with NXT. 

Kelly has only been in the business for three years on the indy scene, so she was looking to make a name for herself against the master of the armbar.

She refused to shake hands before the bell to establish herself as the heel, so the crowd put all of its support behind Purrazzo for the rest of the match.

They kept things technical for the most part. There were lots of takedowns, submissions and counters, but Kelly did utilize some strikes at different times.

Purrazzo came into this match as the favorite, and she did not disappoint. The NXT Superstar picked up the win with a brutal Fujiwara armbar. She became emotional after the bell and shed a few tears as her opponent angrily left the ring.

This was a decent showcase, but their lack of chemistry kept it from being memorable.

Grade: C+

                  

Notes and Highlights

  • Kelly is going to be compared to Paige a lot because of their overall look, but they have totally different in-ring styles.
  • Purrazzo got a nice pop when she made her entrance. 
  • Kelly is still a little green, but she showed a lot of potential.
  • Renee Young and Beth Phoenix complemented Cole’s commentary well. Young was especially enthusiastic.

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Aerial “Big Swole” Monroe battled Zeuxis in the second match of the night. This was a complete mismatch of styles both in the ring and in terms of personality.

Monroe danced her way to the ring while Zeuxis was more composed as she made her entrance. They shook hands respectfully before the bell.

They had a funny moment early on when Monroe yelled at Zeuxis for messing with her hair, but they quickly reminded everyone they were serious about winning this tournament.

The luchador controlled most of the action while Big Swole kept finding ways to counter her offense. The crowd got behind Monroe and cheered every time she scored a two count.

This was a bit more fun than the first bout thanks Monroe and the crowd being so vocal, but all the support in the world couldn’t help her kick out of Zeuxis’ Spanish Fly from the top rope. 

Grade: B-

Notes and Highlights

  • Monroe is married to Cedric Alexander, who was in the crowd with their daughter. 
  • Their daughter was shown crying after Monroe lost. 
  • The Spanish Fly is such a beautiful move when performed properly. 

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Reina Gonzalez was looking for retribution after coming up short in last year’s MYC, and she looked like she had an easy first match.

Kacy Catanzaro was her opponent, and she is easily the smallest woman in the tournament at five feet tall and 100 pounds, so she was giving up a lot to the six-foot, 200-pounds Gonzalez.

The former American Ninja Warrior was thrown around like a rag doll early on, but she used her gymnastics skills to perform some creative maneuvers.

The entire match was Gonzalez controlling the pace while Catanzaro tried to avoid her, but it worked to help tell the David and Goliath story WWE was going for with this combination.

Even with the size difference, the first woman to make it up the ANW warped wall picked up the win with a victory roll. Anyone who doubted Catanzaro’s ability to adapt to the wrestling business may have to rethink their opinion after seeing how well she did in this bout. 

Grade: B

                 

Notes and Highights

  • Catanzaro’s music was horrible, but the way she climbed up the ring post to get into the ring was cool. 
  • Catanzaro is going to be compared to AJ Lee thanks to their size and similar appearance. She almost used AJ’s Black Widow submission at one point.
  • Gonzalez showed a lot of class by shaking Catanzaro’s hand and lifting her up in the air to celebrate her victory. 

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The former Madison Rayne of TNA made her WWE debut as Ashley Rayne in the final match of the evening against one of last year’s competitors in the MYC, Mercedes Martinez. 

As two of the more experienced women wrestling on this episode, Martinez and Rayne had a lot of pressure on them to perform at a high level.

Martinez had the power and height advantage, but Rayne managed to make the fight more competitive than what we saw between Catanzaro and Gonzalez.

They traded control several times as both competitors hit their signature moves, so there was never a time when either of them dominated the other.

After a good back and forth match, Martinez hit a fisherman’s buster to get the win and advance to the next round. 

Grade: B-

                 

Notes and Highlights

  • Rayne’s entrance music was…interesting. It doesn’t match her personality at all.
  • Martinez changed her look a bit since the first MYC. Her attire was a bit flashier than it was last year. 
  • She hit a delayed vertical suplex that got a pop from the crowd after she held up Rayne for almost 30 seconds. 

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