The inaugural Mae Young Classic has been one of the most anticipated tournaments in the history of the WWE and the results from the viewership numbers indicate it equalled it’s hype – of the Top 10 most watched programs on the WWE Network last week, all eight of the Mae Young Classic’s taped episodes ranked #1 through #8. It seems the gamble to package them as bingeable bundles paid off and people were still watching the first bundle a week after they dropped. Only last week’s episode of 205 Live (which finished #9) and the replay of SummerSlam made the Top 10 (the Enzo Amore to 205 Live experiment seems to paying off, as it rose from the #3 most watched program brand on the Network two weeks ago to #2 last week, knocking NXT out of the Top 10).
All of the hardwork that the creative, management and most importantly, the women, put into the Mae Young Classic all comes to a head on Tuesday night for the final episode, where the inaugural winner will be determined, in a match-up straight out of Stardom in Japan – Kairi Sane (formerly Kairi Hojo) vs. Shayna Baszler.
Here’s everything you need to know about the MYC finale and what to watch, both tonight and tomorrow.
THE MAE YOUNG CLASSIC RECAP SHOW: Tonight, 11pm EST, WWE Network (directly following Monday Night Raw)
To prepare those who may have missed the tournament (or for those who binged both bundles early and want a quick refresher), Charly Caruso is hosting a special 30-minute recap show on the WWE Network, running through both women’s journeys to the MYC final, with tournament highlights. As a special bonus, there will be a dark match aired from the tournament tapings, in the form of a 6-woman tag match featuring Tessa Blanchard, Jazzy Gabert and Kay Lee Ray vs. Santana Garrett, Sarah Logan and Marti Belle.
THE MAE YOUNG CLASSIC RED CARPET SPECIAL: Tuesday, September 12, 6pm EST, Facebook.com/WWE
Cathy Kelley will be hosting the red carpet special, akin to similar red carpet specials for major awards shows, checking in with many of the special guests slated to appear to watch the finals, including UFC star Ronda Rousey, USA soccer great Hope Solo, the cast of Netflix’ GLOW series, plus WWE Superstars like Stephanie McMahon, Charlotte, Bayley and more. Kelly will be checking in throughout the night (presumably during Smackdown Live) with guests and competitors.
THE MAE YOUNG CLASSIC FINAL: Tuesday September 12, 10pm EST, WWE Network
And it all comes down to this. A 30-minute special which will be the final match of the tournament, pitting former World of Stardom Champion Kairi Sane against reigning AIW Women’s Champion (and former UFC star) Shayna Baszler in what’s sure to be a stiff and competitive encounter. These two have faced off twice before – both with Stardom in Japan earlier this year – but they were in 6-woman tag matches. At Stardom’s New Year’s Stars show in January, Shayna Baszler teamed with Nixon Newell (a MYC competitor who had to withdraw due to injury) and Kay Lee Ray to defeat Kairi Sane, Konami and Mayu Iwatani. Three months later at March’s Stardom Grows Up Stars event, Kairi Sane got her revenge, when she teamed with Iwatani and Yoko Bito to take down Baszler, this time teaming with two more MYC competitors, Toni Storm and Deonna Purrazzo (sadly, just an alternate for this years tournament). With a 30-minute block slated for the show, it’s safe to assume these two will be given approximately 20+ minutes to work, with the usual pre- and post- match fanfare.
What have been some of your highlights of the tournament so far? Who impressed you that you were unfamiliar with prior? Let us know in the comments!