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Mae Young Classic Episode 4: The Dreamers

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Episode Four: The Dreamers

This is possibly my favorite episode of the first round. This whole tournament has been about the strength and empowerment of women and it culminates in these final four matches of round one.

Match One: Renee Michelle versus Candice LeRae

Full Sail loves Candice LeRae, rather—Candice Wrestling. Candice is very much so the fan favorite, but Renee Michelle is not someone to take lightly. With a background in MMA, Renee Michelle utilizes strikes and hard kicks.

Both women have an extreme amount of determination and confidence, knowing this you know it’s going to be a good match. It was a slower match than I expected, but it was a good match for Candice to have in the first round. Candice got to show off her innovative offense and Renee showed the WWE Universe that she wasn’t messing around.

Candice kept her dream alive with a second rope swinging neck breaker, LeRae’s Wild Ride. Things have not come easy for Candice, this tournament is no different, but it is nice to see her get to a place in wrestling she should have been in years ago.

Match Two: Taynara Conti versus Lacey Evans

Taynara is the first woman from Brazil to be signed to a WWE contract, but her opponent Lacey Evans is a former Marine and is no push over. As amazing as Taynara being a black belt is, Lacey is so prepared and determined in everything she does.

Both are relatively new to the ring, so there isn’t much advantage or disadvantages for either competitor in this one. Throughout the match neither lady lets up, there is always a follow up to every move and no time to catch your breath. Taynara absolutely uses her judo experience in her throws, she is extremely physical for only being 22 years old.

Lacey on the other hand, when she is in control, her strength is hard to overcome. I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side, especially knowing she’s doing this for her daughter. Thankfully Lacey got the win with a back to belly pile driver.

For two women both coming out of the performance center, this was a solid match to show the WWE universe what they can do.

Match Three: Reina Gonzalez versus Nicole Savoy

A second generation superstar versus the Queen of Suplexes. This match was a bit disappointing if you were looking to see what Nicole Savoy could truly do, but for Reina Gonzalez this was the perfect coming out party so to speak.

Reina surprised me with her quickness, she was faster and hard hitting, not at all what I expected. Reina did exactly what she needed to do, kept Nicole on the mat and gave her absolutely no space or time to lock in for a suplex. To Nicole’s credit she was exactly who she always has been, aggressive and always up with the trash talking. I did believe that Nicole wasn’t going to make it past this round, with two of the three members of Trifecta (Mercedes and Shayna) already on to round two I was concerned.

After Reina had been in charge for the majority of the match, Nicole caught her in a cross arm breaker. Nicole really locked it in and Reina had no choice but to submit. As Nicole moves on to round two to face Candice LeRae, look for the Queen of Suplexes to bring her Suplex City to the Mae Young Classic.

Match Four: Kairi Sane versus Tessa Blanchard

As round one comes to an end, the most anticipated match closes us out. Japan Sensation versus a third generation star; this was the debut of Kairi Sane that everyone has been waiting for. Make no mistake though, Tessa Blanchard is good, very good and if anyone would be able to ruin Kairi’s debut she would be proud too.

This was emotional, in truly the best way possible. The first time I had ever seen Tessa wrestle I became a huge fan of the diamond star, but I was beyond excited to see Kairi and hopefully get to see the elbow drop, that is talked about everywhere. Seeing these two face off in round one, knowing one had to be eliminated was a tough pill to swallow. Full Sail was ready, I was not, but here we go!

After the handshake, Tessa came out fierce, which is what she needed to do if she was going to defeat Kairi. Kairi took some hard hits and kicks from Tessa, but Kairi is resilient, she wasn’t going to go down easy. While Tessa has aggressive and innovative offense, Kairi is quick and elusive.

This match was fun, an emotional roller coaster, and Full Sail was into it the whole time. When Tessa hit, what I’m going to call a second rope code breaker, I thought that was it. But Kairi kicked out and kept going, locked in a beautiful octopus hold that Tessa had to fight hard out of.

Tessa’s big mistake in this match was her top rope senton, she didn’t get all of it. Tessa still went for the pin on Kairi and was shocked when Kairi kicked out, as were many in Full Sail, but missing part of the senton, I believe Tessa hurt herself more. After this point in the match Tessa didn’t look fully herself, she did block an elbow, turning it into a pinning attempt, but after the senton Tessa looked hurt.

With Tessa being a bit hurt it was Kairi’s opening to end the match, after a few good kicks it was time to sail the seas. Kairi made her way to the top rope for the most anticipated elbow drop ever. As soon as Kairi jumped off the top, you knew it was special. Kairi hit the elbow and got the win.

For the first round, this was the way to end it, Kairi Sane hitting the most gorgeous elbow drop to move on to what many believe is her destiny.

I’m more awesome than the Miz and like to think I’m a cupcake like Candice LeRae (she’s way cooler than I am).

British Wrestling stole my heart and I don’t think I’ll ever get it back. I blame British Strong Style, probably.

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