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A true revolution for women’s wrestling! Kairi Sane makes history as she wins the Mae Young Classic

As the Mae Young Classic comes to a close, Kairi Sane gets the win and a future NXT title shot

Kairi Sane celebrating after winning the Mae Young Classic (

In only a few short weeks, 32 women proved that women’s wrestling is alive and well. It took two women to further that point in just one night. In the finals of the Mae Young Classic, Kairi Sane defeated Shayna Baszler in a hard fought match to become the first ever winner of the tournament.

After SmackDown Live went off the air, it was time to turn on the WWE Network (for only $9.99) to see hard work pay off for two talented individuals. The special started off with several women from WWE’s past, present and future sitting around the arena. In a great move by WWE, ring announcer Lillian Garcia came back in an attempt to sell this match to the fans. Boy, did she ever. When WWE normally has a show after SmackDown (205 Live), the crowd seems drained. In Las Vegas, nobody was sleeping. There was no way they would miss a historical event unfold.

These women put on a clinic, and told the perfect story. While Shayna tried to end it early multiple times with a few choke holds, Kairi tried to counter them into pins, but to no avail. Kairi ended up working the ribs of Shayna, which would help in the long run. Shayna’s job was to avoid the beautiful elbow drop Kairi performs, and it worked twice. At one point Shayna had her deadly sleeper hold on Kairi, a move that has helped her win four matches leading up to the finals. Kairi wasn’t going away that easily however.

The Pirate Princess became the first person in the tournament to escape Shayna’s dreaded submission hold. After some back and forth action, Kairi got the upper hand. She hit a double stomp on Shayna from the top rope, just like her quarterfinal opponent Dakota Kai. She then hit the elbow drop, yes she only needed one, on Shayna’s ribs for the win.


It was a perfect ending to a game-changing tournament. Wait, that’s not all. Besides winning a spiffy trophy, Kairi, who signed with WWE for two years, will also get a chance prove herself once again. In an interview with ESPN, Triple H explained what’s next for Kairi after the Mae Young Classic, stating:

“[I’m] very excited that she’s the first champion, and now the question is ‘What’s next for her?’ I can tell you what’s next for her. On Nov. 18 at the Toyota Center at the next NXT TakeOver, Kairi will be fighting to determine a new NXT women’s champion.”

Pro Wrestling Sheet’s James McKenna actually hinted to that earlier before the match. Asuka had to give up the title on a previous episode of NXT, partially because of injury and partially because she was getting promoted to the Raw brand. There is no update as of yet who Kairi’s opponent will be. I like the idea of a title opportunity, instead of the rumors going around that she would just win the title. The way the product has been going, a run in NXT will not “damage” Kairi at all. That’s especially the case considering all the talent the product has now. She will help elevate a division that was dominated by Asuka, until her time to join the main roster has come.

As for Shayna, the former MMA fighters stock could not be higher. It’s likely she will be signed by the company in order to create history of her own. During the Mae Young Classic, WWE was teasing tension between their Four Worsewomen (Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte) and MMA’s. Besides Shayna, those members include Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke and Ronda Rousey. This crossover could end up working depending on how WWE goes about this. How they plan to ignite the flame of the feud between these women with different backgrounds will be extremely interesting.

When the Mae Young Classic was announced, expectations were extremely high. With WWE finally gearing towards a different way in handling women, this was the apex of their journey. The result? A successful showcase of powerful women that blew expectations out of the water.


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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.

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