Three new wrestlers have been added to the Mae Young Classic, WWE announced, bringing the total announced competitors to 27 (of 32).
Popular Japanese wrestler Hiroyo Matsumoto — who is alternatively known as “Lady Destroyer” and “Lady Godzilla” — made her professional debut in July 2006. Ranked the 25th best women’s wrestler in the world in 2017 by “Pro Wrestling Illustrated,” Matsumoto, who is revered for her power and technical proficiency, once held four championships simultaneously. Her signature moves include a dangerous high-angle back suplex that she calls the Rock Drop, as well as variations of powerbombs, gutbusters and missile dropkicks.
Aerial Monroe of Clearwater, Fla., enters the tournament with three years of experience. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Monroe trained for the ring under Cedric Alexander and southern wrestling legend George South and has competed throughout the U.S. independent scene. A charismatic striker, “Big Swole” uses a full arsenal of high-power kicks and her specialty move, Dirty Dancing (a ripcord forearm smash), to pummel opponents.
Rounding out the new set of competitors is Montreal’s Vanessa Kraven. Standing 6-foot-2, “The Mountain” is likely to be one of the Classic’s most intimidating and mysterious grapplers. The pigtailed pugilist has dominated competition for more than 14 years, including in Canada’s International Wrestling Syndicate (the same organization where Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn cut their teeth) and the U.S.-based SHIMMER Women Athletes and Shine Wrestling, among others. Kraven boasts a wide repertoire of hard-hitting moves, highlighted by her Cliffhanger Chokebomb, which is a two-handed sit-out chokeslam.
The Mae Young Classic will be taped on August 8 and 9 at Full Sail in Orlando, FL and will air on WWE Network some time later this summer, with the finals airing live at the Evolution PPV on October 28.
Announced so far:
Taynara Conti (won qualifying match)