…Let me first say the obvious: Stephanie and Vince have both clearly Face Turned (for now) given the McMahon vs. Owens feud. Vince did a hell of a job as usual selling the shit out of the ass kicking he took from KO (video cued to start at that point):
Pay close attention to Vince the whole time: He’s literally egging KO on.
For those who can’t read lips Vince can be clearly seen saying “Hit me in my face.” at the beginning of the attack. The blood was an unexpected bonus. It may not look like it but KO really did headbutt Vince dead-on, the latter having no time to brace for it. The rest, you can clearly see Vince prettymuch walking him through it. After getting moved to the middle of the ring Vince motions with his body toward the turnbuckle to his left just long enough for KO to know exactly what to do next.
Although she looks pissed, you can faintly hear Steph say “You did a good job Kevin now get out of here.” Clearly she’s had alot of practice doing that (LOL!). Like father like daughter you could say. Steph’s surprise appearance on Smackdown shouldn’t be a surprise given the finale for the Mae Young Classic would happen right after Smackdown. That’s also why Ronda Rousey was in the crowd.
Kairi Sane defeated Shayna Baszler to with the inaugural Mae Young Classic. Kairi’s professional experience in the indie scene came into play despie the obvious mismatch she faced in former UFC fighter Baszler, who won all of her previous matches by submission.
It is worth nothing WWE kept this under the radar but Kairi had been signed to a WWE contract prior to the start of the Mae Young Classic. Even if she lost, that wouldn’t have changed. On that note. WWE.com announced overnight Kairi will challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship, which was vacated last week by Asuka, who herself will debut on RAW “soon”. Asuka’s debut will definitely happen after No Mercy but could be before or just after Survivor Series.
…Make no mistake the Mae Young Classic’s second purpose aside from showcasing talent was recruitment. Including the two finalists, I’m pretty sure WWE will take at least half of the other competators. At least four of them attended the finale as did Ronda Rousey, Bayley, Charlotte and Becky Lynch.
Kairi will likely feud with Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship as the new top draws on NXT going into the Royal Rumble. Baszler, on the other hand…I could see her being sent to Smackdown to help build Charlotte’s match with Rousey. Hell, we could know as soon as next week.
Looking ahead to the 2018 Royal Rumble…
This pic is from the 2016 Royal Rumble (that’s the Wrestlemania 32 logo in the background) but it raised an interesting question that could now become a reality: What if WWE did a Women’s Royal Rumble at the 2018 Royal Rumble?
They would have just enough women to do it if they bring back some fan favorites from the Mae Young Classic and throw in a surprise entrant or two. Paige making her official return then would be awesome. The winner would become the #1 contender for the championship of the show they’re affiliated with. A “Free Agent” would be able to pick which title holder they want to challenge. I do think the time is right to at least try it in 2018.