Here are the first four names announced for WWE’s Mae Young Classic women’s wrestling tournament that starts taping in mid-July at Full Sail University in Orlando. The info comes from WWE.com and I’m also going to share the info they posted about the competitors.
Lacey Evans (pictured above), of Parris Island, S.C., is a familiar face to WWE Network subscribers. A newcomer inside the yellow ropes of NXT, Evans joined the WWE Performance Center in April 2016. 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. Nicknamed “The Lady of NXT,” Evans has said she hopes to use her platform in WWE to show women all over the world, including her 4-year-old daughter, that there are no limits on what you can achieve.
Twenty-one-year-old Toni Storm (pictured above) is the first and reigning PROGRESS Women’s Champion in the United Kingdom. Already an eight-year veteran, Storm has carved out a reputation worldwide: Born in New Zealand, raised in Australia and based in the U.K., she wrestled in 13 countries before age 20, capturing championships along the way. With an aesthetic flair that finds inspiration in ‘80s rock, plus a ring style that is equal parts technical and hard-hitting, Storm looks to impress on her biggest stage yet in the Classic.
Hailing from Louisville, Ky., Sarah Logan is proud to have been “born in the woods and raised in the mud,” as she puts it. Like Evans, Logan is an NXT competitor and recruit at the Performance Center. She 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. Logan, who has also won Olympic powerlifting competitions, made her NXT TV debut earlier this year.
One of the most esteemed grapplers in Mexico, 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. Not only that, but she has claimed the masks of numerous rivals over the year, which is considered the ultimate sign of triumph in lucha libre. She is also the current Mexican National Women’s Champion.
In other Mae Young Classic women’s tournament news, it was reported by ProWrestlingSheet.com that Serena Deeb is likely going to return to WWE to be a part of the tournament. Deeb was fired from WWE in 2010 and retired from wrestling a few years ago, but the PWS report notes that she has had talks with WWE about coming back.
TJR Thoughts: I hope it’s true about Serena. She is a great wrestler who WWE gave up far too soon in her career for a silly mistake. Apparently they were mad that she was out drinking when she was part of the Straight Edge Society group in 2010. Is that worth firing somebody over? I don’t think so. Deeb has over a decade of experience and turns 31 later this month, so she has a lot left to do in the business if she is given another opportunity. Serena can be a lot more than just the girl that shaved her head for a major storyline. I really hope it works for her.