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WWE Mae Young Classic episode eight results: The finals are set

Image: WWE.com

The semifinals of the Mae Young Classic brought us some thrilling matches, a hot crowd, and another appearance by former UFC star Ronda Rousey. 

Down to just four wrestlers, the matches were longer, more athletic and more compelling as we head into the finals. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon also made an appearance to congratulate the winners, fueling a sense of importance into the tournament.

Shayna Baszler defeated Mercedes Martinez

Baszler, part of Rousey's Four Horsewomen, won with her suplex into a rear naked choke, forcing the talented Martinez to tap out. She took several big chops early from Martinez and survived a rear naked choke attempt. The match also featured a strong suplex exchange and some compelling submission attempts. Baszler works a stiff style, both on offense and defense. She also keeps her hands up like a boxer during her fist exchanges and wears a mouthpiece, a nod to her MMA days.

After the match, she was hugged by McMahon and Triple H and was presented with a dozen roses that she no sold, never lifting them high in the air. Baszler wants the tournament trophy and nothing else. Martinez congratulated her and embraced her after the match in a sign of respect as Rousey and teammate Jessamyn Duke cheered her on.

Kairi Sane defeated Toni Storm

Sane doesn't bring a strong style to her matches like some other Japanese wrestlers. Small in stature, her matches are more like art with tinges of stiffness. She brought a great presence to the ring and the crowd clearly considered her a babyface and a star. The match featured some excellent chain wrestling as Baszler watched the match alone in the locker room. Storm also brings a lot of talent into the ring, nailing Sane with some vicious European uppercuts.

Sane performed her usual high spots, including a Ricky Steamboat-like dive from the top rope onto Storm from the outside. Storm worked over Sane's arm and elbow throughout the match, looking to ruin her big elbow finisher. She cranked a dramatic shoulderbar on Sane, twisting it into a contorted position until Sane pulled away. 

Sane delivered a wicked spinning reverse knife edge and then a cross-legged Boston crab, eventually hitting her elbow drop finisher from the top rope for the win.

After the match Storm hugged Sane as Triple H and Stephanie looked on in admiration. Sane also received a bouquet of roses from Triple H, which she held up high. 

"The littlest dog in the fight is going to fight the biggest dog in the yard," Jim Ross said.

The show ended with Sane at the top of the ramp in front of the tournament trophy where she was greeted by Baszler. Sane tried to shake Baszler's hand, but Baszler left her hanging and instead showed a fist in front of Sane's face. The two engaged in epic staredown with Baszler looking mean and Sane spinning her head like she was crazy.

The two will square off on Tuesday, September 12th in the finals of the tournament after SmackDown on WWE Network.