This past Thursday, WWE taped the first four episodes of the Mae Young Classic. Before the tapings began, however, there was a live stream that introduced all 32 women involved in this historic event. While there isn’t as much geographical diversity as the Cruiserweight Classic, there is an incredible depth to this field of competitors. We looked at half of the tournament field a few days ago, so let’s take a look at the other 16 women that will be competing when the first four episodes air on the WWE Network on August 28.
Dakota Kai (New Zealand)
Formerly known as Evie on the independent scene, Dakota Kai has been competing for about a decade. The New Zealand native is known for her powerful kicking ability and has used it to find great success in Japan in the United States. In Shimmer, she held the Tag Team Championships alongside NXT’s Ruby Riot.
Serena Deeb (USA)
Serena Deeb is the only woman in the Mae Young Classic to have been previously featured on WWE’s main roster. While she never competed during her tenure on SmackDown, she was an important part of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society, along with Luke Gallows. The former six-time champion in Ohio Valley Wrestling is looking to use the Mae Young Classic as the beginning of a feel-good comeback story.
Vanessa Borne (USA)
Even though Vanessa Borne is a newcomer to sports entertainment, she has a history of performing in front of large audiences. Borne was formerly a cheerleader for the Arizona Cardinals during their Super Bowl run until she switched to wrestling, where she trained under former WWE Superstars Gangrel and Rikishi. On NXT, Borne defeated Jayme Hachey to qualify for the Mae Young Classic.
Xia Li (China)
When WWE recruited its first group of Chinese athletes, Xia Li was included in the historic class. Li’s professional wrestling career has begun at the WWE Performance Center and she has been working with the coaches do bring her championship-winning martial arts skills to the ring. Li is one of two women representing China in the tournament.
Rachel Evers (USA)
Rachel Evers has been occasionally featured on NXT, but with no success. She has trained under former WWE Superstar Lance Storm and her father is WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering. Evers, under the Ellering last name, has won a handful of championships in other promotions and she is the current Resistance Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion.
Sage Beckett (USA)
In 2007, Sage Beckett entered the professional wrestling world and competed until 2012 when health issues forced her to step back from the ring. After dropping 130 pounds, Beckett was able to come back to the ring in 2014 and her latest run got her a shot in the Mae Young Classic.
Kay Lee Ray (Scotland)
The second woman representing Scotland in this tournament, Kay Lee Ray is an eight-year veteran known for her daredevil style and her “graceful Swanton Bomb.” She currently holds the Women’s Championship for Insane Championship Wrestling, and she has won several titles all over Scotland.
Santana Garrett (USA)
Wrestling fans might recognize Santana Garrett from her brief stint in NXT or her tenure in TNA, but she has been incredibly successful outside of both companies. Garrett has won numerous championships, including the NWA World Women’s Championship, the Shine Championship, and the Wonder of Stardom Championship.
Nicole Savoy (USA)
Brock Lesnar’s reign as the mayor of Suplex City might be over. Nicole Savoy’s talent in the ring earned her the name “Queen of Suplexes.” Savoy has used her suplex prowess along with a background in Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu to earn a championship in Shimmer.
Ayesha Raymond (England)
Another 6-foot tall competitor in the Mae Young Classic (and you can’t teach that), Ayesha Raymond has been a trained fighter since the age of 15. Raymond has trained under wrestling greats Johnny Saint and Robby Brookside and calls herself the Amazon.
Reina Gonzalez (USA)
With her father being Ricky “Desperado” Gonzalez, Reina Gonzalez is a second generation competitor. With a background in basketball for Texas A&M, Gonzalez first tried to gain a WWE contract by auditioning for the reality show Tough Enough in 2015.
Bianca Belair (USA)
Although Biana Belair is a rookie in the wrestling world, she has a proven track record (no pun intended) of great athleticism. Belair has strength and speed, deadlifting 400 pounds and running a 10-yard sprint in 2.07 seconds. She has already shown that her experience outside of the ring can turn into success on the mat when she defeated Aliyah to qualify for the Mae Young Classic.
Candice LeRae (USA)
Alongside the likes of Abbey Laith and Mercedes Martinez, Candice LeRae is up there as one of the most highly regarded women in the United States independent scene. LeRae is the only woman to have held a championship in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and she has competed against the likes of Cesaro and Kevin Owens. She is also married to former NXT Tag Team Champion and Cruiserweight Classic competitor Johnny Gargano.
Mia Yim (South Korea)
The only woman representing South Korea in the Classic, Mia Yim likens her striking ability to Street Fighter’s Chun Li. With a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and training in Muay Thai, Yim has found incredible success in the United States and Japan. Yim has held the Shine Women’s Championship as well at the TNA Knockouts Championship under the name “Jade.”
Miranda Salinas (USA)
Standing at just 5’1″, Miranda Salinas is the smallest woman in the tournament. Salinas is a former competitor for Booker T’s Texas-based promotion Reality of Wrestling. She started training at the age of 18 and is known for her fast-paced style and “lucha libre craziness.”
Renee Michelle (USA)
A few years ago, Renee Michelle gave pro wrestling a shot when she was approached by Duane Gill (also known as Gillberg). Since then, Michelle has held titles in East Coast Wrestling Association, Maryland Championship Wrestling, and National Wrestling League. Her inspirations include Jeff Hardy, Lita, and Jushin “Thunder” Liger, and she trained under Chigusa Nagayo when she traveled to Japan.
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