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.