Mae Young Classic Semifinal results: Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler advance to Tuesday's live Finale
The excitement ran high inside Full Sail University as two monumental Semifinal Matches — Mercedes Martinez vs. Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane vs. Toni Storm — determined who would move on to compete in the Mae Young Classic Finale, live this Tuesday in Las Vegas.
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Shayna Baszler def. Mercedes Martinez in a Semifinal Match
After refusing to show respect to any of her Mae Young Classic opponents, Shayna Baszler finally agreed to a pre-match handshake with Mercedes Martinez. For good reason, too, as The Latina Sensation was a mentor to Baszler as she made the transition from the UFC to wrestling.
Once the bell rang, the wise ring veteran from Waterbury, Conn., brushed away Baszler's first set of kicks and then gunned at her with forearm smashes. Martinez tried to beat the spirit out of her opponent with vicious strikes, and her hard-edged attack made The Queen of Spades look, for once, overmatched. A frustrated Baszler fought back, locking Martinez in a deep kneebar, but Martinez escaped.
The teacher and student continued jousting, and Martinez gained the advantage after hitting a release fisherman buster, but she was slow in making the cover. Fired up, Martinez pounded her chest and shouted “My world” at Baszler before snapping off a series of suplexes.
Despite the headwinds, Baszler never buckled. When Martinez tried for another fisherman buster, Baszler resisted. The Submission Magician kneed Martinez in the stomach, thrashed her with a falcon arrow and landed her in a rear-naked sleeper, forcing the Martinez — against every fiber of her being — to submit.
Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and NXT Assistant Head Coach Sara Amato entered the ring to congratulate Baszler on becoming the Classic’s first official finalist, presenting her with a bouquet. Baszler was gracious in victory and acknowledged Martinez’s effort, but as WWE.com cameras later revealed, Baszler won’t be ready to celebrate until she reigns victorious in the Mae Young Classic Finale.
Kairi Sane def. Toni Storm in a Semifinal Match
Kairi Sane might be smaller than almost every other woman in the Mae Young Classic, but as her Semifinal thriller against Toni Storm proved, it will take an immense beating by an elite fighter to make The Pirate Princess give up.
It was clear that Storm had her internationally acclaimed opponent well-scouted. As the Japanese sensation attempted her patented sliding forearm strike, Storm blocked it and subsequently launched Sane with a huge German suplex. When Sane went for her fabulous Diving Elbow, Storm stopped her in her tracks and caught her with a fisherman suplex for a two-count. Storm was even prepared for Sane’s blink-and-you-miss-it backfist, catching The Pirate Princess’ arm and nearly ripping it out place with a submission hold.
Soon after, Storm decimated Sane with a top-rope legdrop that landed squarely on Sane’s back, but the underdog would not give in or let herself be pinned, no matter how relentless Storm was on the attack. Sane courageously backfisted her way back into action, dropping Storm with the strike and finally soaring through the air with her Diving Elbow — which, in a tit-for-tat move, landed precisely on Storm’s lower back (an area of the body that Sane had targeted when she was on the advantage.)
That was enough for Sane to clinch the win. After embracing Storm and congratulating her on a hard-fought match, Sane received flowers from Triple H, Stephanie and Amato and then approached the stage, where she stared down her opponent for the Tuesday, Sept. 12, Tournament Finale, Shayna Baszler.
Will “The Queen of Spades” Baszler, with her penchant for ripping limbs and the support of her Four Horsewomen compadres, rise to the top? Or can Kairi Sane’s technique and intestinal fortitude lead her to the biggest win of her career? Find out next Tuesday, streaming live on WWE Network!