So far, six competitors have been confirmed for this summer’s Mae Young Classic. As previously reported, Kaitlyn is making her first WWE return after four years of being away from the company.
Making her second Mae Young Classic appearance is young NXT superstar Rhea Ripley. The Aussie was the youngest competitor in last year’s event.
After being announced as one of NXT’s newest signings at last month’s WWE Japan tour, Io Shirai also makes her long-awaited WWE debut during the tournament. Shirai could quite possibly be the favorite to win.
Current PROGRESS women’s champion Jenny has also been confirmed to enter, after joining the NXT UK brand.
Aditionally, American Ninja Warrior competitor Kacy Catanzaro will be competing as well. She made her NXT live show debut in April.
Finally, 12-year veteran Nicole Matthews is the last confirmation for the event. Matthews shined while a part of women’s wrestling company SHIMMER.
Now that we’ve touched on the participants in the event, I would like to move on to my prediction of the Top 13 to enter the Classic.
1. Toni Storm – There’s no reason for her not to join, as she had huge success in last year’s event. She lost in the Semi-finals to winner Kairi Sane. Storm is also a part of the NXT UK brand, and is my personal pick to win the whole thing.
2. Chelsea Green – Green competed in the 2015 edition of Tough Enough, and is an indy sensation. She recently had a tryout at the Performance Center in Orlando, and is currently dating WWE Superstar Zack Ryder.
3. Delilah Doom – Also on an episode of Raw in a jobbing effort to Nia Jax, Doom is a lovable character if WWE lets her keep her style. I could see her joining as a family favorite.
4. Deonna Purazzo – The Fujiwara arm-bar specialist would be perfect for this tournament. She has wrestled all over the world, including ROH.
5. Kris Wolf – A major star in Stardom, she is known for the “strong style” type of wrestling, which we see in WWE already.
6. Mercedes Martinez – A competitor in last year’s event, Martinez is a veteran that could bring her intensity and would be a solid pick to go far.
7. Kay Lee Ray – Mostly known in England, Ray has an intense submission game. She competed in last year’s event, losing in the first round.
8. Britt Baker – Britt has wrestled for SHIMMER, Queens of Combat, ROH and others. Like Doom, Baker jobbed to Nia Jax on an episode of Raw. She is the current girlfriend of Adam Cole.
9. Xia Brookside – Brookside is only 18 years old, but already has tons of experience under her belt. She has wrestled for ICW, Queens of Combat, and Stardom. She is also the daughter of WWE Performance Center trainer Robbie Brookside.
10. Isla Dawn – As a part of the NXT UK brand, the MYC would be perfect. She has also wrestled for PROGRESS, SHINE, and Stardom.
11. Jessamyn Duke – She is a training partner and fellow Four Horseman member with Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey. Duke is almost a lock to join this tournament.
12. Priscilla Kelly – At 21 years old, Kelly was the first SHINE Nova champion. She has the anti-diva aura around her, and is part of Evolve.
13. Bea Priestley – At 22 years old, Priestley has already competed for Stardom, WCPW, and PROGRESS. She is the best friend of Toni Storm, and was trained by NXT UK wrestler Travis Banks.
I am very excited for this event to unfold, and to watch some incredible women’s wrestling! Check back for more coverage and results!
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Photo credits: Chelsea Green: Orlando Sentinel
Delilah Doom: ewrestlingnews.com
Deonna Purrazzo: PWP Nation
Everyone else: lastwordonprowrestling.com