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Roaring Roundtable: The Mae Young Classic 2018 Round One Preview


Let’s get right to it, ladies and gentlemen: the second Mae Young Classic already airs tomorrow!

I personally have been giddy in anticipation since last year with all my fingers and toes crossed, hoping that we’d get another one. Thank goodness the wrestling gods heard our pleas, and now we’re here!

A new set of 32 amazing competitors will once again grace our screens with the hopes of following now-NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane’s footsteps and become the second Mae Young Classic winner.

Now that we’re only a day away from the MYC, your girls--the bubbly Miyann Bruan and the mysterious charismatic enigma plum potato ninja KP--are back in the hopes of adding more hype into your lives as we get closer to this groundbreaking tournament!

We won't keep you long, so we only have four questions for this Ruthless Roundtable session for round one of the MYC. You can catch the Bracketology episode here, but here is the bracket for your reference.

Favorites going into the tournament?

Miyann: Oh boy, a lot of my favorite women are in this tournament. Meiko Satamura, Toni Storm, Io mother effin’ Shirai, and Kaitlyn. But I’m really excited to see Tita Mercedes Martinez’s role in the tournament. Her matches last year focused on her desire to prove a point-- that she can also get a gold from WWE. How will last year’s affect her attitude toward winning this tournament? Are we going to see a Tita Meiko and Tita Mercy match? Also, aren’t y’all excited to hear the air horn in her theme?

Ardelle: Is it okay if I say I’m excited for everyone? But fine, okay, for this question, a bit of a backgrounder first: I started binge watching '90s joshi puroresu months ago and I immediately fell in love. So for this one, I’m definitely looking forward to Meiko Satomura, Io Shirai, and Hiroyo Matsumoto.

Admittedly, I have only heard pf and seen Matsumoto from my Twitter mutuals, but doing a quick Google search on her gives us an interesting tidbit: she earned her “Lady Destroyer” nickname from another joshi legend, Emi Sakura, when she broke a wall (!) during her Ice Ribbon debut.

Shirai is the Ace of joshi puroresu, and just like another Ace in Hiroshi Tanahashi, she's won all the titles in Stardom and is also been hailed as the best joshi by Tokyo Sports for three straight years. Lucha Underground fans might be familiar with a bit of her work, as she appeared in an episode as part of the Black Lotus Triad with Kairi Sane and Mayu Iwatani.

A GOAT a lot of people might not have heard of yet is living legend Meiko Satomura, who recently made history by being the first woman to win the King of DDT Openweight title, and yes, it’s the same title that Kota Ibushi, El Generico, and Kenny Omega held once upon a time! Tita Meiko beats up women and men. If Pete Dunne and the entire British Strong Style aren’t enough to hype you yet, then I don’t know what will.

KP: Satomura and Shirai are my definite favorites, aside from Tita Mercy and Mia Yim. Satomura’s a true blue OG who has crossed oceans and promotions and shone each and every time. Shirai, well, WWE wouldn’t have signed her if they didn’t think she was one of the crown jewels of the joshi world. For unconventional picks, train your eyes on Rhea Ripley and Taynara Conti, returnees who have something to prove.

First round matchups you're most excited about?

Miyann: Not gonna lie, I will be watching this tournament with little knowledge about most of the wrestlers and what they can do in the ring. Some people may find this lame especially for someone who will write a review for the said tournament, but that’s how the ~wrestling magic~ works for me. With that being said, I’m looking forward to all of the matches in the first round.

Ardelle: Aside from Shirai-san, Matsumoto-san, and Satomura-san’s matches, I’m looking forward to Mia Yim and Allysin Kay’s renewal of their Knockouts rivalry at Impact, and Toni Storm and Jinny’s face-off in a WWE ring, because their match at PROGRESS got nothing but glowing reviews.

KP: Hooboy, gotta say, nothing in the first round really excites me. This may be due to the fact that I haven’t seen any spoilers yet, but none of the matches really jump out at me. Tegan Nox vs. Zatara and Aerial Monroe vs. Zeuxis seem interesting because of the fast-paced, hard-hitting styles of these women. Storm vs. Jinny and Shirai vs. Xia Brookside will pique the interest of some because LOL Stardom.

Who should we keep an eye on? Possible dark horses of the tournament?

Miyann: Ashley Rayne. To be honest I have never heard of her until seeing her match at ALL IN. I think she’ll get eliminated in the first round but she’ll have one of those jaw-dropping matches in the tourney.

Ardelle: After missing last year’s MYC, Deonna Purrazzo is surely on fire going in the tournament. She is definitely hungry to prove everyone that she is more than just a Rosebud and La Luchadora. I also have my eyes glued on PC homegrown talents Jessie Elaban and American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro, who fans said has been on fire on the NXT’s house show circuit.

KP: To be honest, only a few of the names on the tournament will be unfamiliar to indie fans, though I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know any of these women at all. But if I were to pick someone who would electrify the crowd, I’d say keep an eye out for Nox. No one really has ill things to say about Nox’s wrestling, and as she was replaced before she could even compete in last year’s bout, she would undoubtedly make up for lost time.

Finals prediction this early, pls?

Miyann: I want to see Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai for the finals. They have amazing matches from STARDOM and they have chemistry. They never fail to deliver. I want Toni Storm to win this one, for the NXT UK Division.

Ardelle: Surely, early favorites are Io Shirai and Toni Storm, who are both already signed with NXT and NXT UK respectively. But if I were to follow my heart, I would definitely love to see a Meiko Satomura vs. Io Shirai final round match up, with Io taking home the win.

KP: Yeah, the brackets fucked over my dream match. As much as I wanna see Tita Meiko in the finals, she won’t be there because, hello, Sendai Girls. I can’t, in good faith, say Ate Toni either since I honestly think she’ll fare better as the face to Ripley’s monster heel in the UK division. So I’m left with an Io Shirai versus either Tita Mercedes or Mia finals, with Shirai winning because 日本ナンバーワン!!!wwwwwwwwwww.

The Mae Young Classic airs every Thursday morning, local time, on the WWE Network. The final two women will face off at WWE’s all-women PPV Evolution on October 29, also local time.

Who are your favorites going in, mga ka-Smarkada? Sound them off at the comments section, and catch us back here as we break down day one of MYC!

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