Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mae Young Classic Episode 8

1. Shayna Baszler vs. Mercedes Martinez

PAS: This was a nasty little scrap. Martinez had a Tenryu vibe about her as she was lighting up Bayzler with hard forearms and chops, including some that would rise up the throat area. This match really made Bayzler look tough as she took a physical pounding and was still able to pull out the win. Loved how the knee bar took the toll, and made it a little harder for Mercedes to lift Bayzler for the second fisherman's buster, great bit of subtle selling by Martinez. That finishing choke was brutal looking, Samoa Joe should really study Bayzler if he want's to get his finisher over more. The booking was a little weird though, they had done a great job getting Shayna over as a heel, and this was a pretty babyface performance, including a post match emotional hug. The match itself I enjoyed a bunch.

ER: This was awesome. I had said I thought Martinez had underperformed so far, well, she sure showed me. She was an absolute machine in this, dictating the pace from go. I liked how Baszler threw out a slow leg kick to test distance and Martinez just rushed her during the follow through, sending Baszler scrambling for much of the match. I thought Mercedes' chops, elbows and downward strike punches looked killer. Baszler looked completely dumbstruck during the attacks and it made Martinez look great. The knee bar was great and I loved how Martinez handled it, using the killshot fisherman buster instead to give her space. All of the suplexes looked concussive, the Saito suplexes just ragdolled Baszler, and that german was aces. I agree with Phil about Martinez' subtle knee selling, quickly going for the buster but not being as quick with it, allowing Shayna to plant that knee to the gut, leading to her dropping Martinez into the choke. The choke was death, that forearm looked fully wedged into Martinez' windpipe, the tap inevitable. I agree that the face/heel dynamics were totally against the rest of the tournament, and even within the match they were weird: Martinez' selling during that choke was a huge babyface moment, going from monster one moment to a mouse getting squeezed by a snake the next moment. But the match was gold, best of the tourney so far. Also, Joe's choke is insanely over. Lesnar is a guy who gets a deep red face just from brushing his teeth, but Joe choked him until he looked like roided up Grimace.

2. Kairi Sane vs. Toni Storm

PAS: This was worked in epic 2017 style, and had many of the pluses and negatives of that style. There were some big moments, the dive to the floor by Sane was pretty great, and the bruising on her face added to the violence of the match, I also really liked Storm's armbar she really cranked it and made it look vicious. It did feel a bit like a forced epic though, that puro forearm exchange was stinko, and there was a lot of anguish face near falls. I think it served its purpose, but I am never going to like this kind of match as much as I am going to like something like Devi v. Kai.

ER: This really didn't move me at all. It had cool individual moments, but the build felt completely disjointed and there always seemed to be a reset moment in between big moments. And the resets were all just ugly mouth screams. I think that bridged armbar from Storm was arguably the nastiest moment of the tournament, and also one of the biggest failures of the tournament. It was locked on for far too long, way too far from the ropes, and Sane spent so much time in it that I just couldn't believe in any more of their work. It looked far too strong, and seeing her just last through it for so long just got silly. Although I weirdly would have liked it had she won after reversing into a crucifix pin. It reminded me of that Dynamite Kid/Bret Hart match from 1985 where Dynamite drops an absolutely insane knee drop from the middle rope, 2/3 the way across the ring, right onto the back of Bret's head. And the match ended a minute later with a Bret roll up. The most brutal spot of 1980s WWF was barely a 2 count. Here we have an armbar that looks like the submission of the year, and it didn't even convince Kairi to try using a different arm. It made her scream some more, but she had already spent the entire match screaming, so who cares. They got their "This is wrestling" chant, but the emotions felt forced throughout.

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Blogger Yerfuneral said...

1) Student vs teacher, easy enough story to follow but with a match pretty much comes off like it is told in a foreign language without subtitles because it is pretty much done in a style I have limited knowledge in couldn't tell you how effective that story was told. Can't tell if their was flubs. No idea if Martinez pulled out anything like some forgotten old school move. All I could do was absorb and get a lesson from the teacher and the student. You had your moments and came across pretty much like a real competitive fight even with Baszler hulk up moment.
I also liked how this match and her last have shown that Baszler as beatable. The tournament format you could have had her just steamrolled with her pedigree.
I never really got into MMA. The reality shows based around them were more interesting. Unless both fighters were real hungry to prove something most matches came off as chess matches in Central Park but even those can feel like they have more action than an actual fight. This match hasn't changed my mind on the format but always nice to see different stuff. That has been the great thing about this tournament seeing so many different styles and for the most part working well.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

2) If it was 5 to 7 years ago when I had initially given up on wrestling this match and the previous match I probably would have straight up hated. The length of both matches were long. I get it semi-finals got to make things seem epic. They would have been better with a half hour of a recap to help put over some of the talent they have decided to keep or are NXT ready already.
I would have been as stoned faced and bored as the hard side camera lower level attendees. If they weren't piping in the crowd noise they definitely had the upper levels miked. The Bullet Club boys in the front didn't light up until match was over to grab their phones and post the results to social media. Sorry no super kicks, distracting umbrellas, or one winged angels here. It wasn't a good look but a risk of a tv taping and giving the audience something not your stereotypical WWE style.
Yeah way off track but this match definitely came off way more NJPW than WWE. I have come to like how every move good or bad has repercussions. Still bigger fan of outlandish comic book battles and really going to miss Lucha Underground if it is indeed done but no longer immediately turned off by what we got in this match.
Storm was serious from start to finish. I liked it. I get it your 21, have had opportunities even veterans never have had, and got an eccentric personal style. In some ways you are the Sheldon Cooper of wrestling but the attitude of everyone is beneath you only works when people know your story.
Not seeing really what they do as far as the females do on the Japanese circuit these days this is the kind of match I expected. Still after these 3 matches Sane doesn't seem better than Asuke that everyone claims but have had months of exposure to her and only literally weeks of Sane.
I forgot to mention it in another match recap but they need to rethink the flying to the outside stuff. I think having to account for the angle of the ramp the catcher is not having the right angle to support the flyers landing. Yeah they crash into the steel ramp all the time on the main WWE programming but you got more space between the ring and ramp where the catcher is on even ground not an angle usually.
I believe it was the Laith/Martinez match where when they did the similar spot that her knee was caught more by the ramp than Martinez. Here we had Sane's head and I am guessing maybe here is where she suffered the supposed concussion I saw mentioned in an Instagram post. I understand the risk of the crowd but at least the barrier has some padding and would wake up the folks ringside.

All told both matches were solid for what they were. Nothing totally sticks out tremendously for me and will probably have better memories of earlier matches but this overall has been a solid tournament.
If WWE is thinking of doing a women's show please be taped and not live. No one in the tournament has left me with an impression they can put together a match with very little instruction. Some of the vets looked to have issues even with matches that have been clearly worked from top to bottom. Maybe I am wrong in that assumption but to have so few stinkers hard to imagine it otherwise.

2:26 PM  

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