Mae Young Classic
Date: October 24, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Renee Young, Beth Phoenix, Michael Cole

It’s the final show as we’re up to the semifinals with four competitors left. This week we’ll have two big matches with Toni Storm facing Meiko Satomura and Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai. I’m not sure which of these two will be better, but either match could wind up being a heck of a showcase. Let’s get to it.

Both matches are semifinal matches.

We open with a recap of how the final four got here.

Toni Storm vs. Meiko Satomura - Semifinal Match: Mae Young Classic, Oct. 24, 2018

Opening sequence.

Toni Storm knows Meiko Satomura is the best in the tournament and that she’ll need to wrestle her best match to win.

Satomura says they’ve fought before in Japan but it ended in a draw. She’s here to make the finals and nothing else is acceptable.

Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm

The fans are split, as you probably guessed. Toni’s wristlock doesn’t work to start so Satomura takes her down with a headlock. That’s reversed into another headlock but Satomura gets on top to put Storm in trouble again. The first few kicks wake Storm up a bit and a shoulder block has no effect either way. Storm is tired of this even stuff and kicks her hard in the chest for two. A few more shots keep Meiko in trouble and Storm goes back to the arm, only to get the tar kicked out of her.

Kicks to the chest and legs have Storm down and Meiko cranks on the leg in something like a seated reverse figure four. A rope is finally grabbed and Toni elbows her way out of a suplex. Meiko spinwheel kicks her down and the fans are right behind Satomura again. Toni grabs an STF and it takes a good while for Meiko to make it to the ropes. A good fisherman’s suplex gets two on Satomura and Toni knocks her to the floor for a big suicide dive.

Back in Toni kicks her in the face, only to be screamed at for her efforts. They trade kicks until Satomura plants her with a DDT. The Death Valley Driver gets two on Storm but Toni hits a hard German suplex. Storm Zero only gets two but Meiko blocks another and hits a Pele kick to the head. The step up Scorpion kick knocks Toni silly….for two. Storm has had it though and hits a last gasp Storm Zero for the pin and the spot in the finals at 13:06.

Result: Toni Storm b. Meiko Satomura – Storm Zero (13:06)

Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley - Semifinal Match: Mae Young Classic, Oct. 24, 2018

They both cry on the announcement as Meiko gets a LOUD thank you chant. Kairi Sane comes in to present Storm with roses as HHH is on the stage to bow to Meiko. Storm can barely speak and can barely believe that she just won that match. She’s living her dream and thanks everyone for working so hard to get here.

Io Shirai is a high flier and wants to prove that she’s the best in the world.

Rhea Ripley is out to win and nothing more. She’s destroyed everyone and she’ll go it to Shirai as well.

Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai

Rhea doesn’t care for the respect part and shoves Shirai down to start. Shirai cartwheels into a backflip into a dropkick but Rhea faceplants her (looked like a backdrop that didn’t rotate enough) for two. We hit the seated abdominal stretch to hold Shirai in place until she kicks her way out. That earns her a hard kick in the back as Ripley has been in control for most of the start.

Now it’s another seated abdominal stretch but Shirai fights up again, only to get pummeled with right hands. We hit a bodyscissors to keep Shirai down and a dropkick gives Ripley two. A delayed vertical suplex gets two more and it’s back to the bodyscissors. Shirai turns over this time and forearms away, finally getting free.

Ripley is on her back but still rolls over and kicks Shirai in the ribs in a smart move. A pop up powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana and Ripley bails outside for a breather. That means the big suicide dive and they’re both down on the ramp. Ripley gets back in and Shirai dives back in at nine, only to be pummeled by Ripley all over again. Rhea shouts that Shirai thinks she deserves it but can’t hit a suplex.

Instead Shirai scores with some palm strikes, followed by a 619. A missile dropkick gets two but Shirai gets caught on top, meaning a top rope superplex for a heck of a crash. Riptide is broken up though and Ripley is sent shoulder first into the ropes. That means a Meteora and the moonsault finally hits properly (with Cole calling it an Asai moonsault) for the pin on Ripley at 12:53.

Result: Io Shirai b. Rhea Ripley – Moonsault (12:53)

Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley - Semifinal Match: Mae Young Classic, Oct. 24, 2018

HHH posts with Rhea on the stage while Kairi presents Shirai with the roses. Shirai shouts about being #1.

The announcers make their picks with Storm winning the vote 2-1.

Sane, HHH, Sara Amato, Storm and Shirai pose on stage to end the show.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Smackdown Reviews.

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