Toni Storm and Io Shirai faced off at Evolution in the finals of the WWE Mae Young Classic 2, and after a breath-taking back-and-forth match, Storm secured the trophy by hitting a second “Storm Zero” for another massive victory.
Last year, Toni Storm was one of the standouts in the Mae Young Classic, dazzling audiences with her charisma and strength before finally losing in the semifinals to eventual winner – and current NXT Women’s Champion – Kairi Sane. At WWE Mae Young Classic 2, Storm was even better, even snagging a career-defining victory against the legendary Meiko Satomura in the semifinals.
Storm, who defeated Satomura at Pro Wrestling: EVE’s “Global Women Strike” show in an equally sensational match, faced a more difficult test in the finals. A familiar opponent in Io Shirai beckoned, but Storm wasn’t about to be denied the MYC trophy for a second straight year.
The face of the WWE NXT UK brand, Storm was tested early and often by Shirai, who is as ruthless as she is athletic. Shirai seemed to get the better of Storm in the opening grappling exchanges, and she would hit Storm with a slingshot dropkick before following it up with a moonsault to the outside. And yes, Shirai has the best moonsault in the business. And, yes, that is a fact of life.
However, Storm survived everything Shirai had to offer, showing great mental fortitude to bounce back when Shirai kicked out of a “Storm Zero” (just as Satomura did in the previous round).
Storm had Shirai scouted, too, as she got her knees up at a critical moment of the match to block Shirai’s devastating moonsault finisher. That led to a second “Storm Zero” and a heartfelt Mae Young Classic 2 victory for Storm, who is one of the best and brightest wrestlers in the world.
This match more than delivered, and it met expectations as a show-stealer on the excellent Evolution card. Shirai is the best wrestler in the world from a pure in-ring standpoint (just check out her suicide dive and moonsault if you aren’t convinced), and Storm is tremendous in her own right. Few wrestlers are as good as Storm as getting the crowd fired up during her matches
Last year, Storm was a star in the Mae Young Classic. This year, she left the first all-women’s PPV in WWE history as the winner of the Mae Young Classic. Storm has an undeniably high ceiling in WWE, and it will be exciting to see how far she ca help the NXT UK brand rise.