Mae Young Classic
Date: September 26, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Renee Young, Beth Phoenix, Michael Cole

We’re wrapping up the first round tonight with the last four matches, meaning things are already going to be halfway done. The interesting thing here is going to be seeing which surprises WWE has left for us, along with Japanese superstar Io Shirai as this year’s breaking name. Let’s get to it.

The opening video talks about the eight names who will be competing tonight.

Opening sequence.

All matches are first round matches.

Rachel Evers is the daughter of Paul Ellering and wants to make her own path. She lost her focus last year but that’s not happening this time around.

Hiroyo Matsumoto calls herself Lady Godzilla.

Kassius Ohno, who is dating Evers, is here.

Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Rachel Evers

Cole’s description of a woman who called herself LADY GODZILLA and wants to fight the Undertaker: “She’s colorful and loves to have fun.” Cole on Evers: “She wants to have fun!” They shove each other around to start and some shoulders go nowhere. Clotheslines go nowhere so Matsumoto shoulders her down as Renee talks about joshi.

Evers gets two off a gutwrench suplex and kicks Matsumoto in the face. A missed charge lets Matsumoto Stun her over the ropes, which is called flamboyance for some reason. Matsumoto gets two off a missile dropkick and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Evers gets laid over the middle rope for some kicks to the ribs, followed by a Vader Bomb knee drop for two more.

Evers comes back with a pop up spinebuster for a double knockdown. A slugout goes to Evers and she grabs a cutter into a backsplash for two. Evers drops a spinning double springboard legdrop for two more and the fans are entirely behind her here. Another strike off goes to Matsumoto and she grabs a German suplex, which Evers no sells to a BIG reaction. Matsumoto has had it with Evers and powerbombs the heck out of her, followed by a Saito suplex (the Rock Drop) for the pin at 7:46.

Result: Hiroyo Matsumoto b. Rachel Evers – Rock Drop (7:46)

Rachel Evers vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto - First-Round Match: Mae Young Classic, Sept. 26, 2018

Taynara Conti is a Brazilian jujitsu fighter who has appeared on NXT before.

Jesse Eleban is a nerdy geek who is from Earth and describes herself as “amazeballs”.

Dana Brooke is here.

Jessie Eleban vs. Taynara Conti

Conti wastes no time in throwing her down twice in a row. Jessie is right back up with a kick to the face (those long legs help with that) and a backsplash gets two. Back up and Conti starts in on the arm, followed by an STO for two. A stomp to the arm sets up an armbar, followed by another version with some cranking on the wrist to keep Jessie in trouble.

Now it’s off to bending the fingers apart, followed by some stomping to the ribs in the corner. Since that’s enough to let Jessie fight back, Conti kicks her square in the arm to cut her off again. A catapult of all things drops Conti and some dropkicks keep Conti in trouble. Conti blocks a rollup though and spins her into a Boss Man Slam for the pin at 4:44.

Result: Taynara Conti b. Jessie Eleban – Spinning Boss Man Slam (4:44)

Jessie Elaban vs. Taynara Conti - First-Round Match: Mae Young Classic, Sept. 26, 2018

Isla Dawn says she takes a lot of inspiration from goddess worship and wants to fight.

Nicole Matthews is a veteran from Canada who wasn’t happy with being an alternate last year. How can you have the best of the best if she’s not included?

Isla Dawn vs. Nicole Matthews

They fight over a few lockups to start as we hear about Dawn being into witchcraft. Dawn takes her down and hits a double stomp, followed by a running Meteora for two. Nicole is right back with a neckbreaker out of the corner for two. A kick to the back and a backbreaker has Dawn in more trouble until she avoids a forearm in the corner.

Matthews ties her in the ropes though and kicks away at the chest to keep Dawn in trouble. Some elbows and forearms set up a double arm crank but Dawn is right back up with some knees to the face. A snap belly to back suplex drops Matthews and a fisherman’s suplex gets two. Dawn almost drops her on an Angle Slam for another near fall as Beth thinks a spell might be in need of a spell. Matthews has finally had enough of her and clotheslines Dawn into a Liontamer for the tap at 7:19.

Result: Nicole Matthews b. Isla Dawn – Liontamer (7:19)

Isla Dawn vs. Nicole Matthews - First-Round Match: Mae Young Classic, Sept. 26, 2018

Io Shirai is a strong style high flier who was inspired by Rey Mysterio.

Xia Brookside is nineteen years old and the daughter of NXT trainer Robbie Brookside.

Of course Robbie is here.

Io Shirai vs. Xia Brookside

Renee on Xia: “She looks like she’s made of Skittles.”  Io’s moniker is Genius of the Sky. Xia forearms her to start but Io lands on her feet to counter a headscissors. The look of shock on Xia’s face is followed by Io’s forearms in the corner.

Slingshot knees to the chest in the corner and Io grabs a kind of reverse Sling Blade into a Crossface. A hard knee to the face drops Brookside but she gets in a faceplant for a breather. The fans get behind Brookside…for all of two seconds until a palm strike cuts her off. More running knees in the corner set up a Great Muta style moonsault for the pin at 3:17.

Result: Io Shirai b. Xia Brookside – Moonsault (3:17)

Shirai helps what used to be Brookside up.

Here are the updated brackets:

Meiko Satomura
Mercedes Martinez

Lacey Lane
Taynara Conti

Toni Storm
Hiroyo Matsumoto

Mia Yim

Tegan Nox
Nicole Matthews

Rhea Ripley
Kacy Catanzaro

Io Shirai

Deonna Purrazzo
Xia Li

We get a recap of the show, which doesn’t happen every week.

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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