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WWE News: Four huge names confirmed for Mae Young Classic 2018 tournament

Gary Cassidy
4.02K   //    13 Jul 2018, 23:04 IST

The Mae Young Classic is shaping up to be great

What's the story?

Well, two big names were already confirmed for the up and coming Mae Young Classic - and now the rest are coming thick and fast!

After the announcements of former Divas Champion Kaitlyn and NXT's Rhea Ripley, WWE has today confirmed four more huge names for the 2018 version of the tournament - including American Ninja Warrior's Kacey Catanzaro and newly signed Japanese Superstar Io Shirai.

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In case you didn't know...

The Mae Young Classic debuted last summer when WWE announced that 32 women from across the globe would compete in a two-day tournament shown on WWE Network - with stars such as Shayna Baszler, Kairi Sane, Tessa Blanchard, Kavita Devi and Piper Niven (Viper) competing.

The tournament was a huge success and hailed for showcasing the incredible quality of women's wrestling across the world right now on a huge stage, so much so that a sequel to the tournament was announced during WrestleMania 33 weekend.

The heart of the matter

WWE has confirmed today four more Superstars to compete in this year's Mae Young Classic.

Of the 32 competitors, we now know six. Joining the aforementioned Kaitlyn and Rhea Ripley are Kacy Catanzaro, Io Shirai, Nicole Matthews and Jinny.


Katy Catanzaro may be the biggest name in terms of grabbing a mainstream audience, having gained notoriety from competing on American Ninja Warrior and twice being listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50” list of the world’s best female athletes. Catanzaro has only recently signed with WWE and is relatively inexperienced, but has been praised for her incredible athleticism.

Kacy Catanzaro found fame on American Ninja Warrior

One that will definitely excite the hardcore fans, though, is one of WWE's newest signings - Io Shirai. WWE unveiled Shirai as their new recruit at a Live Event in Tokyo to a rousing reception as she's one of the most decorated wrestlers in the modern history of Japan.

The Genius of the Sky has captured countless titles in her home country and was named the top women’s wrestler for the past three years by national newspaper Tokyo Sports.

Io Shara
Io Shirai will compete as a WWE Superstar

Nicole Matthews is on the opposite end of the scale as Catanzaro. She's a hard-hitting 12-year ring veteran from Vancouver and has wrestled in Canada, the United States, England, Japan and Australia against the likes of Becky Lynch, Asuka and Sara Amato.

The fourth announcement of the day is Jinny. The Londoner wrestled in a WWE ring for the first time at the 2017 WrestleMania Axxess just three years into her career. Now, as the reigning women’s champion of the UK-based PROGRESS Wrestling, she'll return. Jinny also holds the distinction of being the first female graduate of PROGRESS’s wrestling school.

Jinny is one to watch!

What's next?

Well, more names probably!

The Mae Young Classic will begin on Wednesday, August 8 and finish on Thursday, August 9 and will take place at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. There is no news yet as to when it will be available on WWE Network, with rumours saying the end of the summer is most likely.

What do you think about the competitors announced so far, and who else would you like to see announced for the Mae Young Classic? Let us know in the comments.

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Gary Cassidy
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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