WWE’s Mae Young Classic: Complete Competitor Guide and Tournament Analysis

mae young classic guide full competitors predictions analysis

After weeks of announcements, the full field of Mae Young Classic competitors is set — and Wrestling Sheet’s Ashley Leckwold is here to talk talk ’em up, as well as rate who has the best chance to win.

Similar to last summer’s Cruiserweight Classic, the Mae Young Classic features a mix of indie darlings and lesser known wrestlers from around the world. Luckily, I’m a hype machine for women’s wrestling … so let’s run down who is in the tournament and talk this out!

Kairi Sane

Kairi Sane — fka Kairi Hojo — is probably WWE’s biggest women’s signing since NXT Women’s Champion Asuka signed back in 2015. Known as “the Pirate Princess,” Sane won almost every possible championship in Stardom and became known worldwide for her elbow drop. With her pedigree and press, it’s fair to say that Sane is an early favorite to win it all in the Mae Young Classic.

Chances of winning: 9/10

Tessa Blanchard

Tessa — the daughter of 4 Horseman Tully Blanchard  has become a well-known wrestler on the US indie scene and also appeared on NXT in 2016. She’s had success wrestling in Japan as part of Stardom and is one half of the current Shimmer Tag Team Champions, but the second generation wrestler will have a tough time advancing due to Kairi being her opponent in the first round.

Chances of winning: 4/10

Toni Storm

Storm is another early favorite, as well as one of the first competitors who was announced. At only 21-years-old, the Australian wrestler has taken the world by … well, you know. She is the current Stardom SWA World Champion as well as the first and current reigning Progress Women’s Champion. 

Chances of winning: 9/10

Piper Niven

Niven — aka Viper — is known as “The Vixen of Violence.” Based out of Ayr, Scotland, Niven has competed all over the UK scene … as well as in Stardom. She was the first ICW Women’s Champion and appeared in the World of Sport revival that aired in the UK last year.

Chances of winning: 6/10

Abbey Laith

Kairi Sane is not the only princess in this tournament!

The wrestler formerly known as Kimber Lee was the princess of Chikara when she became the ONLY woman to hold their Grand Championship in 2016. Laith is also one half of the only tag team to hold the tag titles for Shimmer and Shine at the same time. While her fellow recruit Ruby Riot may have appeared on NXT first, Laith is sure to make a royal impression in the Mae Young Classic.

Chances of winning: 7/10

Sarah Logan

Known on the indies as Crazy Mary Dobson, Logan made various appearances in NXT and on the main roster before officially signing in late 2016. She’s had a tough time making a splash in NXT, but maybe the Mae Young Classic will be her coming out party?

Chances of winning: 4/10

Bianca BelAir

A former track and field star, as well as a powerlifter, BelAir is a Performance Center trained talent who has become well-known by local Florida NXT crowds. BelAir doesn’t just stand out for her strength and athleticism, but also for the fact she uses her distinctive braid as a weapon. Yes, really.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Dakota Kai

Like a lot of this field, Kai — fka Evie made early appearances in NXT as enhancement talent before signing a deal and becoming the first Kiwi in WWE. A former tag champion in Shimmer with Ruby Riot, as well as various other titles, Kai is sure to kick her way through the competition.

Chances of winning: 6/10

Jazzy Gabert

Once known as Alpha Female, Gabert has certainly earned that title. A champion across Europe and multiple times in Stardom, the German wrestler and MMA star also briefly competed on Impact Wrestling in 2014. Tall and terrifying, Gabert is certainly not one to fool around with.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Princesa Sugehit

With 20 years of experience, Sugehit is the oldest participant in the Mae Young Classic. Don’t get distracted by that though, because Sugehit is one of the most well-known luchadoras in Mexico. Along with being the current Mexican National Women’s Champion in CMLL, Sugehit also has a collection of masks claimed from other opponents.

Chances of winning: 6/10

Sage Beckett

Recruited in the same class as Riot and Laith, Beckett will be familiar to Impact Wrestling fans who saw her as Rosie Lottalove. The Team 3-D Academy Graduate had worked briefly as Lana’s bodyguard at NXT house shows, but this will be her first time competing full time in WWE.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Lacey Evans

If you watch NXT regularly, you may recognize Evans as one of the new faces in the women’s division. A former military police officer in the United States Marine Corps, Evans traded her combat boots for cuban heels when she became The Lady of NXT after signing in 2016.

Chances of winning: 6/10

Rhea Ripley

The youngest competitor in the MYC, 20-year-old Ripley — fka Demi Bennett — is something of a phenom in the Australian wrestling scene. A former soccer player who has competed across the world, Ripley is also a two time Riot City Wrestling Women’s Champion.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Kay Lee Ray

Ray might as well be the Last Queen of Scotland with the resume she boasts.

Having competed in Shimmer, Shine, Impact Wrestling, and even NXT in the past … Ray currently holds the women’s titles in ICW and WhatCulture Pro Wrestling. She’s also the best friend of fellow competitor Piper Niven.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Vanessa Borne

A former cheerleader and sports reporter, the newcomer Bourne — fka Danielle Kamela did technically win one of her first matches in NXT … but only because Nikki Cross beat her so badly the referee had to reverse the decision.

Chances of winning: 3/10

Ayesha Raymond

Known in the UK as “The Amazon Ayesha Ray,” Raymond is a powerhouse who has been wrestling since she was 15-years-old. Trained by British legends Robbie Brookside and Johnny Saint, Raymond has competed across the world — including for Stardom and IPW.

Chances of winning: 3/10

Taynara Conti

Conti is another recent talent signed and trained by the Performance Center. A black belt in judo, the Brazilian star made her live debut during Wrestlemania Axxess as Taynara Melo. The Mae Young Classic will be her first appearance on WWE TV, so it will be interesting to see how she fares.

Chances of winning: 4/10

Kavita Devi

A world class weightlifter and a trainee of The Great Khali, Devi has already made history before even stepping foot in the ring for her first match by becoming the first Indian woman to compete in WWE … which just makes her all the more determined to stand out in the Mae Young Classic.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Candice Lerae

Lerae almost doesn’t need an introduction.

One of the most popular independent wrestlers in North America, she was a regular in PWG and competed against the likes of The Young Bucks, Adam Cole and Kevin Owens. Along with being one half of the World’s Cutest Tag Team with Joey Ryan, Lerae is also married to Johnny Gargano.

Chances of winning: 9/10

Serena Deeb

Deeb’s return to WWE has been a long time coming. A four time OVW Women’s Champion, Deeb was briefly a member of The Straight Edge Society before her release in 2010. She actually retired from wrestling in 2015, so this return in the Mae Young Classic is significant in more ways than one.

Chances of winning: 7/10

Xia Li

One of WWE’s recent Chinese recruits, Li — fka Zhao Xia — is a skilled martial artist and fitness competitor who has competed in the Nike Challenge Competition and the Second World Traditional Chinese Wushu Championship. The Mae Young Classic is her official in-ring debut.

Chances of winning: 3/10

Rachael Evers

Daughter of Paul Ellering, Evers — aka Rachael Ellering — is an up-and-comer on the US independent circuit. She has previously competed in NXT before, working enhancement in several matches across 2016 and 2017. She is the current Lady of the Ring Champion for WrestleCircus.

Chances of winning: 4/10

Marti Belle

Sure to be a familiar sight to Impact Wrestling fans, Belle is a former Knockout who was a member of The Dollhouse from 2015 to 2016. She has also worked across the independent scene with Evolve and Shine, as well as Shimmer where she is a former tag team champion.

Chances of winning: 3/10

Santana Garrett

Another former Knockout, Garrett is a staple in independent women’s wrestling. Having won titles across America, she is most known for having been a champion in Stardom and Shimmer. She previously worked for NXT as an enhancement talent as well.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Nicole Savoy

Calling herself the “Queen of Suplexes,” Savoy is another bright talent on the US independent scene. She was the first Heart of Shimmer Champion, where she held the title for 462 days.

Chances of winning: 5/10

Mia Yim

Once known as Jade, Yim was the Queen of the Knockouts for a while. No, really. A former CZW competitor, Knockout Champion and Shine Champion  Yim is nothing short of hardcore. Along with wrestling, Yim is a domestic abuse survivor and works as an advocate for victim services organization Safe Horizon.

Chances of winning: 8/10

Reina Gonzalez

The daughter of independent wrestler Desperado, Gonzalez is a former basketball player and recent WWE recruit. She previously auditioned for Tough Enough and appeared on NXT earlier this year.

Chances of winning: 2/10

Shayna Baszler

Whether you know her as “The Queen of Spades” or one of the Four Horsewomen of MMA, Baszler is the latest in a long line of MMA stars to make the jump into the squared circle. She is the current AIW Women’s Champion and helped Nikki Bella develop the Fearless Lock.

Chances of winning: 7/10

Zeda

Formerly known as Julia Ho, Zeda was recruited earlier this year along with Riot, Beckett, and Laith. A former model, singer, and MMA star … this new superstar making her TV debut in the Mae Young Classic certainly redefines “triple threat.”

Chances of winning: 2/10

Miranda Salinas

Salinas is another recent WWE recruit. Trained by Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling school, she participated in a WWE tryout earlier this year. Noted as “a petite powder keg,” the Mae Young Classic will be Salinas’ in-ring debut.

Chances of winning: 3/10

Renee Michelle

A DC native who has made her way around the independent circuit, Michelle’s entry into professional wrestling came from an unlikely source: Gillberg. Gillberg encouraged her to give wrestling a try, which carried her to be trained by Chigusa Nagayo in Japan.

Chances of winning: 3/10

Mercedes Martinez

A heavyweight on the US independent wrestling scene, Martinez is a big get for the MYC. A two time Shimmer Champion and one half of the tag team Las Sicarias with Lucha Underground’s Ivelisse, Martinez has won championships all across the US and surely has her eyes set on adding the Mae Young Classic to her resume.

Chances of winning: 7/10

Sound off in the comments below and tell us who you think will win!

  • Louis

    I am not going to spoil it. I will just say this: It’s good to be friends with Ronda Rousey. 😘

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