The WWE revealed four more names for this year’s upcoming Mae Young Classic II, with three being returning names from last year’s tournament, and the addition of one more name who recently made her WWE debut at the United Kingdom Championship special. Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim and Kavita Devi will all be returning for a second chance at the tournament trophy, while Portugal’s Killer Kelly, who competes regularly for Germany’s wXw, were announced today.
A 2x SHIMMER Champion, 3x Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) Champion, 5x World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) Women’s Champion. Mercedes Martinez is already a legend in women’s wrestling in the indie world, where she’s also currently one half of the SHINE Tag Team Champions with Ivelisse. Per WWE’s website, “using an aggressive combination of strong-style and submission wrestling, Martinez defeated China’s Xia Li, Mexico’s Princesa Sugehit and America’s Abbey Laith in last year’s tournament before falling to her protégé, current NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, in the Semifinals. With an astonishing number of titles to her resume, The Latina Sensation will undoubtedly be one of the most decorated competitors in the mix this year.”
A former Knockouts Champion in Impact Wrestling (as Jade), Mia Yim is one of the most popular wrestlers on the indie circuit. Keith Lee handpicked Yim for his final match on the indies before heading to NXT recently. Per WWE’s site, Yim is “a dangerous striker from Fontana, Calif., who represented South Korea in 2017’s tournament. After pinning Sarah Logan in last year’s opening round, Yim was ousted by Baszler in her next match. Yim suffered a leg injury in late 2017 that shelved her for months, but upon returning to action earlier this year, she adjusted her style to emphasize strikes and submissions, both of which she’s well-versed in thanks to her extensive background in taekwondo. Yim brings nearly a decade of wrestling experience to this year’s field.”
The first India born woman signed by the WWE, Kavita Devi made an impression at last year’s Mae Young Classic with her size and speed. She’s officially joined the NXT Live Events circuit this April (following an appearance in this year’s inaugural Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania) and has been working as the bodyguard for Aliyah, but she’ll be looking to branch out on her own with another crack in this year’s Mae Young Classic.
Portugal’s Killer Kelly is only three years into the business, debuting with Wrestling Portugal in 2016. She made a big move to Germany last year, joining wXw, where she was crowned the inaugural Women’s Champion. This year she made the jump to the UK scene, recently working with Pro Wrestling EVE, PROGRESS and RevPro, as well as debuting with the WWE at the UK special from the Royal Albert Hall.
CRYSTAL: The One That Got Away?
Interestingly, there was a fifth name originally announced as well, but since the initial announcement, she’s now been removed from the article. Whether something happened that blocked her appearance or the announcement was premature, they had initially also announced Crystal, a wrestler from the Phillipines who wrestles in the South Asia circuit. The WWE article originally posted the following in regards to her appearance:
Twenty-four-year-old Crystal, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Philippine Wrestling,” has competed throughout Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, since making her debut in February 2016. Sporting a wrestling ring tattoo on her arm, Crystal developed a love for sports-entertainment in her youth when she would watch WWE with her grandmother. A highflyer inside the squared circle, she was discovered by WWE officials during a scouting trip to the region in 2017.
CURRENT CONFIRMED MAE YOUNG CLASSIC LINE-UP
- Kacy Catanzaro, USA
- Kavita Devi, India
- Jessica Elaban, USA
- Kaitlyn, USA
- Reina Gonzalez, USA
- Jinny, England
- Killer Kelly, Portugal
- Mercedes Martinez, USA
- Nicole Matthews, Canada
- Tegan Nox, Wales
- Deonna Purrazzo, USA
- Rhea Ripley, Australia
- Io Shirai, Japan
- Mia Yim, South Korea