Predicting the WWE Women’s Tournament Field

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Canada & Mexico

Before getting to the American participants, let’s round out the rest of North America.  Canada and Mexico both have long, rich histories in pro wrestling and have turned out numerous global talents.  Can either country send a star to the women’s tournament that can turn out to be the next great performer?  Well, there’s 5 who should at least be given that shot.

Candice LeRae – Winnipeg, Canada

Being that the WWE is currently in it’s PG Era, 31-year-old LeRae may have a tough time fitting in.  Since her debut over 14 years ago, “Candice Wrestling” has gone from being an undersized, underdog scrapper, to a smashing machine unafraid to taste her own blood in hardcore matches against women or men.  LeRae is no stranger to taking and inflicting vicious chair shots, has been sent through more tables that can be counted, and has shed buckets of blood.

But one thing you can’t argue about LeRae is her results.  She’s won as many male championships as she has female ones and she’s made it clear she can hang with any human being on earth.  However, WWE has taken notice.  She worked a battle royal on NXT last month for her first exposure to the brand.  Whether she got the gig as a courtesy to her husband, former NXT tag champ Johnny Gargano or because they have sincere interest is still up in the air.  One thing that’s for sure is that if anyone deserves a break for what she’s done for the business, it’s Candice LeRae.

Nicole Matthews – British Columbia, Canada

At only 30, Nicole Matthews has accomplished pretty much everything one can ask for in independent wrestling.  She started off her career in Vancouver’s ECCW and won their Women’s title 4 times.  She also captured the ECCW Heavyweight championship 3 times, the only female to accomplish that.  In fact, she’s the current champ.  She’s also held multiple titles in Shimmer among various other indies.  “The Riot” is a special talent.  Great in the ring and hilarious on the mic.  If she ever makes it to the WWE, whether for this tournament or in the form of a contract, and is allowed to be herself, every female on the roster better be very careful in picking a fight with her.

Taya Valkyrie – British Columbia, Canada

Although Canadian, 33-year-old Valkyrie has spent the majority of her career wrestling in Mexico.  And although she’s had a solid career, her wrestling life didn’t begin all that well.  After training under Lance Storm she got an immediate developmental deal with the WWE but failed to ever make an appearance for them.  Finding her style more suited for Lucha Libre, she took her talents south of the border where she is a 2-time and current women’s champion under the AAA banner.  Her Mexican nickname “The Crazy White Girl” is very fitting as Valkyrie is an all-out risk-taker.  But on top of that, she’s a beautiful blonde bombshell loaded with charisma.  Now with 6 years experience under her belt, the WWE would be well served to her give another chance.

Leah Vaughn – Ontario, Canada

29-year-old Vaughan got a late start to pro wrestling but she has not let that stop her from chasing her dreams.  Beginning her training at age 24, the Ontario native has already captured titles in 4 different promotions and it seems like she’s just getting started.  Since turning pro, at the end of 2011, she’s already worked 194 matches (, making herself one of the busiest female indy workers out there.  She’s making a serious run at catching the attention of the wrestling world and the tournament could be a great starting point.  Sure, she probably needs a little more work, but if the WWE ever has interest, she could be one of those buy-low type prospects.

Ayako Hamada – Mexico City, Mexico

There are unquestionably a few women on this list that fall into the “it’s a shame the WWE never signed her” category and 36-year-old Hamada is one of them.  Simply put, Hamada is one of the very best and accomplished female wrestlers on the planet.  Between Japan and Mexico, she has won 20 championships between 9 different promotions in her 18 years of in-ring service.  Those wins include two runs as the TNA Knockout’s champion.  Pro wrestling is in her blood as she is the daughter of the legendary Gran Hamada and she embodies his Lucha Libre style.  After 18 years, Hamada may potentially be at her best right now.  The WWE should strike while the iron is hot.