Friday, July 14, 2017

Your Mae Young Classic Field

LeRae is officially one of the competitors
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Last night, the Mae Young Classic kicked off. All first round matches were contested and taped for streaming later on in August. I will not spoil any of those matches, but what was made public was the list of competitors for the tournament. Some were announced beforehand. Others weren't confirmed until last night. The following is the complete list of competitors.

Abbey Laith, Ayesha Raymond, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Jazzy Gabert, Kairi Sane, Kavita Devi, Kay Lee Ray, Lacey Evans, Marti Belle, Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Miranda Salinas, Nicole Savoy, Piper Niven, Princesa Sugehit, Rachael Evers, Reina Gonzalez, Renee Michelle, Rhea Ripley, Sage Beckett, Santana Garrett, Sarah Logan, Serena Deeb, Shayna Baszler, Taynara Conti, Tessa Blanchard, Toni Storm, Vanessa Borne, Xia Li, Zeda (Julia Ho)
Most of that list was confirmed ahead of time or they were rumored via medicals in Orlando. Of those who weren't in either group, neither Yim nor LeRae are surprising. They've both been rumored to be connected to WWE for quite a bit. LeRae, to whom rumors have been attached for years now, has even appeared on NXT television.

I've heard people say this field is underwhelming, which to me is kinda insane, and not just know-nothing fans, victims of the lack of hype for women's wrestling below NXT either. Dave Meltzer allegedly said the tournament lacked experienced women, which shows that the game has passed him by. The Cruiserweight Classic had 32 guys in it, and only half of them were well-known. Two of them were put against each other in the first round, and everyone else got a pass to the second along with Ho Ho Lun, who was there as part of WWE's push into China. The only thing that the CWC didn't have that the MYC does a low-experience Performance Center quotient. But outside of Evans/Borne/Belair/Li/Zeda, that field is fucking loaded with elite and veteran talent.

My one complaint so far, and it's a big one, is that the release date for the first set of episodes is August 28 and not, like, next week. I don't know what WWE needs to do production-wise, unless it's to edit down Jim Ross flubs or whatever. But it doesn't make sense to me to tape now and release so far after. Still, I can't wait to see the results, because again, that field is pretty loaded.