Mae Young Classic: Fantasy Booking 32 Possible Performers


Jazzy Gabert had an early exit from the inaugural Mae Young Classic. Could she return for the second tournament? Credit: WWE

While WWE have announced plans for a second annual Mae Young Classic tournament, very little has been revealed about the event. Rumours and whispers abound in regards to the upcoming roster, with several familiar names already being tossed around.

The 2017 Mae Young Classic focused on a diverse array of women’s wrestlers from around the world, and this year should be no exception. While certain contracts and appearances prevent many current women’s wrestlers from participating in the tournament, WWE still has a wide array of talented women to work with across the independent scene.

Like any tournament, there should be a balanced mixed between new and returning faces. Jazzy Gabert was a tournament favourite that was knocked out early despite raucous fan response to her killer heel character, and injury sidelining a WWE contract. Making her return in the Mae Young Classic would be the ultimate triumph for her, as well as her fans.

Current NXT standouts Bianca Belair, Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae should all return to the competition this year, as well as Mia Yim, all of whom shared brilliant performances throughout the tournament.

Both Kai and Belair were knocked out by eventual winner Kairi Sane, while Yim and LeRae ultimately submitted to current NXT champion Shayna Baszler. Also deserving of a return are Mexico’s Princesa Sugehit and Australians Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm, all of whom are supremely talented, hard-hitting wrestlers.

In addition to Ripley and Storm, a solid group within the second annual Mae Young Classic should represent Australian wrestling, particularly given its rise over the last few years. Madison Eagles has been making waves across the independent scene in recent years, and with her veteran instincts, she’d make for a wily competitor.

Joining her would be the impressive Indi Hartwell, who at 21 years of age is already a supremely talented and well-travelled star. Shazza McKenzie should round out the Australian representatives with her disarmingly sweet, but impressively brutal style.

Credit: WWE

Representing the ever-growing talent within the UK would be a collection of new stars and veterans, including Millie McKenzie, Xia Brookside, Zoe Lucas and Candyfloss, all young stand-outs within the UK wrestling scene who have appeared across PROGRESS, Rev Pro, Pro-Wrestling: EVE and Stardom.

Representing PROGRESS’ House of Couture stable, Jinny, Charlie Morgan and Nina Samuels should all make appearances within the tournament, particularly given the close working relationship between PROGRESS and WWE. Jinny’s long running feud with Toni Storm would likely come into play during the tournament, however, Jinny’s position as current PROGRESS women’s champion, it’s likely she may send her lackeys to do the dirty work.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Charlie Morgan of Great Britain fights Toni Storm (r) of Australia during the Progress Wrestling Super Strong Style 16 final at Alexandra Palace on May 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Isla Dawn and Sierra Loxton, who have also appeared within PROGRESS would be great additions to their tournament with their unique looks and compelling styles. Dawn recently appeared within WWE’s UK tournament in a triple threat match between Killer Kelly and Toni Storm, both of whom should appear within this year’s tournament.

Session Moth Martina would be a highly unlikely entry into the tournament purely on character grounds, as the self-proclaimed ‘boozerweight’ has an affinity for alcohol that may not sit well with WWE’s kid-friendly audience. That said, Martina has made a name for herself on the independent scene with her smashmouth offense and ever-present bants.

Much like Martina, UK veteran Sweet Saraya would also make for an unlikely, but brilliant competitor in the Mae Young Classic, representing classic British pro wrestling, as well as the famous Bevis wrestling family.

Deonna Purrazzo, hailing from the United States, was one of several reserves for the initial Mae Young Classic, and has since enjoyed a strong year on the independent scene. Purrazzo has reportedly signed a contract to join NXT, making her almost a lock for the next Mae Young Classic. Given Chelsea Green, formerly known as Impact’s Laurel Van Ness, has recently had a tryout at WWE’s performance centre, she also makes for a strong possibility in the tournament.

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Leva Bates is also a likely contender given her frequent NXT appearances in the past and brief fame as ‘Blue Pants’, a name coined by a forgetful Enzo Amore. Shedding the moniker, Bates could, and should, have a chance to shine in this year’s tournament. Joining her in representing the United States would be Britt Baker, who’s made similar appearances for WWE in the past.

Shotzi Blackheart and Kris Wolf would also make for brilliant competitors, having blazed their way through the independent scene, showcasing charisma and talent that far exceeds their more experienced peers.

Last year’s tournament reserved a spot for returning veteran Serena Deeb, who first appeared on WWE television as part of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society. This year, the spot should be reserved for fitness guru Kaitlyn, who enjoyed a brief stint in WWE during the unfortunate Divas era. Having recently come out of retirement, and apparently appearing at recent NXT tapings, there’s a strong chance Kaitlyn could make a one-off return.

Credit: WWE

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Finally, it’s no secret that Io Shirai has joined the talented NXT women’s roster, after months of rumours and anticipation for her arrival. It’s within the Mae Young Classic that she should make her debut, carving her way through the competition. Shirai arrives in WWE amidst a cloud of hype, and the Mae Young Classic is the perfect stage to showcase her talents. Joining her in representing joshi puroresu should be Meiko Satomura, who has become known as one of the greatest joshi talents in the world.

Do you agree with our choices? Who do you want to see join the The Mae Young Classic in 2018? Share your ideas in the comments below.