Earlier this year, WWE announced that it was a going to hold an All-Women WWE Tournament in the vein of their recent successful UK and Cruiserweight Classic Tournaments. The Mae Young Classic as it being called, promises to the deliver unrivaled, pulse-pounding action featuring some of the top female wrestling talents from all over the world. While the final details of the Tournament are still hard to lock down, WWE has announced a significant part of the roster.
Here they all are including official descriptions from straight from WWE themselves:
1. Kairi Sane
Twenty-eight year-old Kairi Sane, nicknamed “The Pirate Princess” in her home country of Japan, where she is one of the most celebrated women’s wrestlers of the modern era, announced that she has signed with NXT and will compete in the first ever Mae Young Classic competition.
2. Dakota Kai
Auckland, New Zealand’s Dakota Kai has held numerous titles not just in her native country, but also in countries like Australia, Japan and the United States (including the SHIMMER Tag Titles with NXT Superstar Ruby Riot).
3. Tessa Blanchard
Probably one of the youngest competitors in the tournament, the twenty-one-year-old Tessa Blanchard, of Charlotte, N.C.,is the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer and Four Horseman Tully Blanchard.
4. Toni Storm
Toni Storm is the first and reigning PROGRESS Women’s Champion in the United Kingdom. She wrestled in 13 countries before age 20, capturing championships along the way.
5. Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans, of Parris Island, S.C., is a familiar face to WWE Network subscribers. She joined the WWE Performance Center in April 2016 but prior to pursuing sports-entertainment, she served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years, including time spent as military police and a member of the Special Reactions Team, which is the Marine equivalent of a SWAT Team.
6. Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair, of Knoxville, Tenn., qualified for the Mae Young Classic with a recent victory over NXT Superstar Aliyah. Before joining WWE in 2016, she competed in track and field at University of South Carolina, Texas A&M and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she is a regional CrossFit competitor who has been featured in RX Magazine.
7. Sarah Logan
Hailing from Louisville, Ky., Sarah Logan began her in-ring career on the U.S. independent scene in 2011, and quickly gained notoriety for her rough-and-tumble fights. She refined her skills in Japan under former WWE Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku before signing with WWE in October 2016.
8. Princesa Sugehit
The masked Princesa Sugehit, from Monterrey, brings 20 years’ experience to the Classic. Since turning professional in 1996, Sugehit has earned countless accolades while competing in her home country’s top organizations, CMLL and AAA. She is also the current Mexican National Women’s Champion.
9. Abbey Laith
The WWE Performance Center standout — renowned for her strikes and suplexes — will have a chance to break new ground of her own in this summer’s Classic. Laith began training for the ring while working toward a bachelor’s degree in dance education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
10. Taynara Conti
The 22-year-old judo master Taynara Conti might be one of the Classic’s least-seasoned wrestlers inside the ring. Conti spent years honing her martial arts skills in her native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, eventually being promoted to black belt in judo and blue belt in jiu-jitsu. Her thunderous throws put her on the radar of WWE talent scouts, and she joined the Performance Center in 2016.
11. Jazzy Gabert
Representing Germany in the Classic is Jazzy Gabert, a muscle-packed, 6-foot-1 brawler who has wrestled internationally for more than 15 years. A professional MMA fighter outside the ring, the bruising Berliner has achieved her greatest success in Europe and Japan.
12. Piper Niven
Hailing from Ayrshire, Scotland, Piper Niven is an experienced powerhouse who has competed across numerous promotions, including Shine, SHIMMER and Glasgow-based Insane Championship Wrestling. She is revered for her high-impact offense, which includes senton splashes, powerslams and a signature Michinoku Driver.
13. Kavita Devi
Kavita Devi is a powerhouse student of former World Champion The Great Khali. Hailing from Jind, Haryana, India, the 5-foot-9 Devi is a top competitor in Khali’s Punjab-based organization, Continental Wrestling Entertainment.
14. Rhea Ripley
Just 20 years old and already sporting a resume full of in-ring accolades, Rhea Ripley is a wrestling prodigy. The hard-hitting Australian was a standout soccer player in her youth, making her uniquely prepared for a career of throwing hard kicks. In addition to having competed in her home country of Australia and Japan, Ripley is also a two-time Riot City Women’s Wrestling Champion.
15. Sage Beckett
Sage Beckett is as tough as they come. The in-ring veteran of 10 years not only trained under ECW Originals Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley at their Team 3-D Academy, but she has taken the hardcore philosophy to heart while revitalizing her squared-circle career.
Beckett found considerable success competing in various promotions like WXW Elite and Shine before deciding to retire in 2012. Still yearning to do battle between the ropes and unleash pain on her opponents, she made her return in 2014, coming back 130 pounds lighter.
16. Vanessa Borne
Danielle Kamela a.k.a NXT’s Vanessa Borne is not yet officially announced as part of the tournament. However, she did defeat Jayme Hachey in a Mae Young Classic qualifier match on a June 28 taping of NXT.
The inaugural Mae Young Classic Women’s Tournament is scheduled to premiere Monday, Aug. 28, on the award-winning WWE Network. Keep your eyes on this space for more updates.
Did your favorite female wrestler make the list? Who are you keeping your eye on at the Classic? Please let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you! Also, jump over to our Facebook, Twitter , Youtube, and Instagram. or Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Aquino is the Gladiator’s Vinyl Valkyrie. She’s been following the WWE since it’s glory days in the 90’s. Find her on Twitter @moreaurora 😉