Mae Young Classic
They didn’t delay in getting the melanin poppin’ during the first episode of the MYC2. MJ Jenkins hit the stage showing the entire Network why she is “A Whole Lot of Woman.” Even her entrance music gave you that sista-time vibe. Listening to Beth and Renee lend commentary on her background made hope they go with a minority woman as a third in the future for more diverse POVs. Rhea Ripley was on a mission to avenge her loss in last year’s tourney, and that would lead one to think that she was in for an upset to the upstart. MJ took some of Ripley’s best and disrespectful offense early in the match. On the comeback, Jenkins would land a shoulder tackle and kick to the face for some separation. It would be a missed roundhouse that found MJ in a pump handle slam that would put her away.
It was not long after the bell on Jenkins’s match that we were introduced to Lacey Lane. Cam is big on Lane, and I can see why. She would be dwarfed by her opponent, Vanessa Kraven, but don’t let that fool you. Lane and Kraven told one of the best stories of an oversized competitor and a dominant performer. It may seem easy for her to sell power moves; yet, there is something to be said for the way Kraven was allowed to showcase her size and dominance over the smaller Lane. This worked well because when the time came to rise up and overcome, Lane’s speed in the ring made it go over well. Then, Lane caught Kraven with her Crucifix Bomb for the pin and win. It was so fluid, too.
Ring of Honor
Jay Lethal and Johnathan Gresham served up a throwback match in their televised main event. Lethal held true to the promise to face Gresham in a third match to break their tie; he also put up the ROH Title in this 3o Minute Iron Man Match. They gave us 25 minutes of technical wrestling before Gresham made Lethal submit from the Octopus. He went right back at Lethal with the 1-0 lead and got caught with the Figure Four. It would take another two minutes or so before he would also tap tying up the falls at one each. Gresham would plead to Jay’s sense of competition when the match ended in a tie. Five more minutes were added, but it wouldn’t take that long for a Lethal Injection to bring this title match to an end.
Bobby Lashley tuned up to return to action next week, and who but Lio Rush as a proverbial Timon to his Pumba to encourage the dominator.
Last week was a stroke of genius; this week, R. Truth returned to the ring with Carmella in his corner to face Andrade “Cien” Almas. Truth would not put the win streak together, but this was no ordinary popcorn match. Truth kept it entertaining (meh) while still showing flashes of that young Ron Killings keeping Almas looking like a worthy competitor.
I am not sure who faced Mustafa Ali in that squash match, but they didn’t even give my guy much face time.
The Cedric Alexander train is too hot, but he can’t just lose a match. Enter Akira Tozawa. The two would team up to face Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher. G&G came in as dominant competition, but Tozawa was the wild card. Tozawa would keep the heel team off the champ. Alexander was not a man to be held back though. He took the fight to both Gulak and Gallagher each time he hit the ring. By the end of the match, Tozawa would find himself isolated in the ring and subjected to the Gulock for the tap out.
It was about a week ago that Bianca Belair interrupted William Regal’s interrogation of Nikki Cross. Cross, being Cross, rubbed Belair the wrong way by mocking her. Fast forward to this week, it’s time to hash this out in the ring. The conflict in styles was immediate and explicitly stated. Belair was intent on showing Cross where she messed up; there was a spot where Nikki attempted a crossbody only to be caught and lifted into an overhead press. Every moment Belair would take to gloat would be followed up by Cross bouncing back suddenly. Neither woman gained the upper hand, and the resulting double count out was par for the course. The melee that followed was not.
Hell In A Cell
It seemed rather convenient that the newly formed team of Rusev and Aiden English won the SmackDown Tag Title shot. They and the New Day are pretty hot in the Universe; so seeing them on the pre-show card was a given. The angle continues to be Aiden doing too much and costing his team the match. Later in the night, the backstage celebration continued with Mr. Bootysworth and Kramer Kingdom.