The Mae Young Classic tournament is taking more and more shape as the names of the first 10 participants have been confirmed. This women’s tournament is set to reunite 32 competitors from 17 different countries, as announced previously.
Zhao Xia is the first Chinese woman to have ever signed a developmental deal with WWE, it was last September. She’s a martial arts and fitness specialist who has had multiple first-place finishes in both sports competitions.
US former crossfit star Bianca Blair signed a developmental deal in April 2016, she appears regularly in NXT live events and had her first TV match in May, being apart of the NXT Women’s Title #1 Contendership Battle Royal which ended in a no-contest.
Mary Kate, formerly known as Rosie LottaLove in TNA, is an American wrestler trained by Bully Ray and D-Von Dudley. After her TNA stint, she toured in Japan but retired in 2012 due to injuries. She came back in the independent rings in 2014 and appeared in a NXT episode in October 2015. She signed a developmental deal in January and is managing Lana during her live events NXT matches.
Julia Ho comes from Canada but trained with Brian Kendrick in his California-based school. She’s a singer, a model, but also a MMA fighter. She was known as Julia “WillKilla” Ho when she was fighting for Cage Fury Fighting Championships MMA promotion. She signed with WWE in December 2016.
Another American talent, Danielle Kamela was trained by Rikishi and Gangrel in their wrestling school in Arizona. She worked for Fox Sports Arizona, was a cheerleader and dancer. She wrestled for Knokx Pro Entertainement in California before signing a WWE deal in April 2016.
Taynara Melo, from Brazil, is a black belt in judo and a blue belt in Brazilian jujitsu. She signed with NXT in February 2016. She hasn’t debuted with NXT yet.
Kimberly Frankele, known as Kimber Lee in NXT, worked for many American federations like SHIMMER, SHINE, Combat Zone Wrestling. Before signing with WWE last January, she was a CHIKARA Grand Champion. She’s a regular of NXT live events and appeared twice on TV last April and May.
Lacey Evans is a former U.S. Marine and member of the Marine Corps SWAT team. She was trained by Tom Caiazzo at the American Premier Wrestling training facility in Georgia and made her debut for the promotion in 2014. She signed with WWE in April 2016 and appeared regularly in both NXT TV and live events.
Daughter of Texan indie wrestler Ricky “Desperado” Gonzalez, Victoria Gonzalez is a former basketball player. She graduated in journalism in 2013. She was signed to a WWE developmental deal in October 2016. She appeared a few times in NXT live events and once on TV in the NXT Women’s Title #1 Contendership Battle Royal last May.
Sarah Logan, aka Crazy Mary Dobson, aka Sarah Bridges, has been an independent promotions Superstar since 2011 in the USA and in United Kingdom. She’s reknowned for not being afraid of fighting against men. Bridges made various appearances for WWE between 2014 and 2016 as different temporary characters alongside the Miz. She signed with NXT in October 2016.
The tournament will be filmed on July 13 and 14 at Full Sail University. A special preview is set to be aired on August 20 on WWE Network but the matches of the first round will be released via On Demand system by the end of August in WWE Network.The second round will be released in September via the same VOD service. The finals are set to be held live from Las Vegas on September 12.
Jim Ross is expected to be the lead announcer, alongside a female Hall of Famer or WWE wrestler as color commentator. The names of Alundra Blayze, Lita, Beth Phoenix and Bayley are among the most quoted. The referees and announcers of the tournament are also expected to be women.