The Mae Young Classic comes to an end this Tuesday, with a special hour long finale taking place live on the WWE Network following SmackDown Live, taking the spot of 205 Live for this week only.
After eight enjoyable episodes that have really put women's wrestling at the forefront of everyone's focus the grand final is set as Kairi Sane takes on Shayna Baszler in what should be an incredible, hard hitting match to determine the first ever winner of the tournament. Both women would make sensible choices for totally different reasons and each has their own unique fan bases that will be rooting for them this Tuesday night.
The two finalists have certainly been the most impressive athletes, dominating either side of the bracket and putting on some of the matches of the tournament which has the expectations raised high for the final, but who does VAVEL think will be winning the competition?
Predicting the winner
Whilst one flaw that the tournament has had is that this final was fairly predictable once the full bracket was announced, yet that has been made up for by how they've been booked during that process, making the final match itself anything but predictable. Both athletes could win and the WWE has obvious reasons for choosing either wrestler.
Sane has been one of the biggest names in women's wrestling for some time now and coming into the Mae Young Classic she certainly had the most buzz about her and that has only grown now she has performed inside a WWE ring. She hasn't held back any of her strong style and much like Asuka did during her debut months, Sane has offered something completely unique to the rest of her competitors.
One major benefit to her name is that she is signed on the dotted line as a WWE superstar, she is under contract. Who remembers the CWC when everyone presumed that Zack Sabre Jr would face Kota Ibushi in the final, yet neither man made it after falling at the final hurdle; being defeated in the semi-finals. Why did that happen? Because neither man had signed a WWE contract, and neither was planning on doing so, therefore WWE chose to put over two men who had contracts and could be part of the company moving forward. This could happen again with Baszler currently not under contract, WWE may want to bet on someone who they are guaranteed to be able to use full time down the line.
The former UFC star was one of the pioneers for women's MMA and she might well be a pioneer of a totally new style in the professional wrestling world as well, mixing her mixed martial arts with wrestling she has created a character in just one tournament that already stands up amongst other women on the roster. She has made a tremendous impact in the short time she has been with WWE and has arguably been the biggest standout of the tournament.
Should WWE want to sign Baszler, having her win the Mae Young Classic could be a way of sweetening the deal, showing her that the company has faith in the abilities she has. Another big sway for Baszler is her connection to Ronda Rousey and the fact she is part of MMA's Four Horsewomen, who are the dream opponents for WWE's own Four Horsewomen down the road in the eyes of most fans; something they have already teased within this competition. Should they want to do that match in the near future, having Baszler lose would make a less intimidating presence when the match rolled around and what better way to put her on the level of Rousey than having her win this?
With Rousey set to be at the red carpet event that takes place just before the match, the next stage in the potential feud could come before the bell even rings, but as you can see, there are plenty of factors playing into this; making it tough to predict. Another element that could be brought in at the last minute is the NXT Women's Championship. The yellow brand is without a champion following Asuka's injury and this could be the perfect way to create a new major star for NXT, by having the winner become the new champion. WWE did this trick with the Cruiserweight Championship being awarded to TJ Perkins after winning the CWC and it could easily happen again here, adding even greater stakes to the match.
One thing that is clear is that WWE has done a great job with this tournament overall, creating new stars that can be used at any moment and put plenty of focus onto women's wrestling and that was the main aim.
Prediction- Shayna Baszler