Mae Young Classic Episode 5 results: Kairi Sane fights for survival against Bianca Belair
The Mae Young Classic’s Second Round got off to a thrilling start, with international fan-favorite Kairi Sane taking on one of the field’s strongest athletes, Bianca Blair, in an action-packed main event. Plus, the tournament’s two most experienced grapplers went toe-to-toe, Rachel Evers battled Abbey Laith, and more!
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Mae Young Classic Results : Quick Hits
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Abbey Laith def. Rachel Evers in a Second-Round Match
ORLANDO, Fla. — Abbey Laith and Rachel Evers pulled out all the stops to advance in the inaugural Mae Young Classic. After the two uncompromising competitors floored each other with simultaneous axe kicks, the WWE Universe came unglued, showing their appreciation for the action with a chant of “women’s wrestling.”
Though Evers caught Laith with perhaps the most forceful move of the entire match — a jaw-dropping powerslam from the top rope — the youngster hesitated in following up her attack. That proved to be her undoing, as the more experienced Laith surprised the protégé of Lance Storm with a powerbomb and folded her in half with the Alligator Clutch. For a second consecutive round, Laith used Mae Young’s famed finisher to get the win, but will she keep her momentum going when she faces the winner of Princesa Sugehit vs. Mercedes Martinez in the Quarterfinals?
Piper Niven def. Serena Deeb in a Second-Round Match
Serena Deeb achieved a personal victory, as well as a professional one, when she returned from a two-year hiatus from the ring to knock off the aggressive Vanessa Borne in the First Round. Deeb displayed the same heart and determination in her Second-Round Match against Piper Niven, but it simply wasn’t enough to counteract one of the Classic’s most physically imposing competitors.
The former SmackDown Superstar sapped her energy trying to take her larger opponent off her feet. Her attempts to lift Niven for a bodyslam and, later, a fireman’s carry did more harm than good, and though she dodged Niven’s immense top-rope splash, she had no answer nor escape when Niven scooped her up for a Michinoku Driver. The impact demolished Deeb and moved Scotland’s Niven one step closer to the Mae Young Classic trophy.
Mercedes Martinez def. Princesa Sugehit in a Second-Round Match
There were no rookie mistakes or butterflies in the stomach (just one butterfly mask) when the tournament’s two most experienced competitors, 21-year veteran Princesa Sugehit and 17-year veteran Mercedes Martinez, squared off. With the Mae Young Classic being, perhaps, the final opportunity for either woman to make a splash on a platform of this scale, neither warhorse was going down without a fight, and neither showed an ounce of trepidation.
The feeling-out process was cut short once Martinez rocked the luchadora — who was dressed in Wonder Woman-inspired ring gear — with strikes. Martinez, who cites WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero as one of her inspirations, broke out a Three Amigos-like combination of two suplexes and a rope-hang spinning neckbreaker for a near fall.
Sugehit scored back with a tornado DDT, but the gritty, no-nonsense Martinez stopped Sugehit in her tracks with a big kick before trapping her in a fisherman buster to claim the fall. Martinez now looks ahead to the challenge of Abbey Laith in the Quarterfinals.
Kairi Sane def. Bianca Belair in a Second-Round Match
Most rookies wouldn’t be as brash as Bianca Belair was heading into action against a veteran as lauded as Japan’s Kairi Sane. But, then again, most rookies don’t possess the unreal athleticism of the self-proclaimed “EST of NXT.”
Genetic beast or not, Belair didn’t intimidate The Pirate Princess with her mind games, even when she blew a kiss at Sane. Instead of getting flustered by Belair’s antics, Sane gave it right back and mimed catching the kiss, tossing it to the mat and stomping on it with both feet.
Sane then brought the fight to the bigger and stronger foe, but Belair shook off the attack before turning to her dreaded (and controversial) hair whip, which she used repeatedly and to profound effect, eliciting a riotous response from the WWE Universe in the process.
Unconcerned with the WWE fans’ outrage, Belair continued to punish the popular Sane, torturing her with submission holds and even connecting with a picture-perfect 450 splash. Somehow, Sane survived the onslaught and kicked out at two-and-a-half.
Ever the underdog, The Pirate Princess avoided a subsequent shoulder attack by Belair, then jumped on her opportunity, unleashing a wicked backfist before sailing through the air with her replay-worthy Diving Elbow to claim her spot in the Quarterfinals, where she will battle the winner of Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley.