Cleat Geeks

First Look: The 2nd Mae Young Classic (Part II)

The 2nd annual Mae Young Classic is closing in, and here is the second installment of an eight-part series that takes an in-depth look at the 32 combatants!

Jinny: Jinny was part of the wave of indy stars recently signed by WWE, in fact quite a few of this year’s MYC combatants are. According to what I learned about her while reading news about her acquisition, Jinny is the current Progress Women’s Champion, having defeated one of last year’s MYC semifinalists, Toni Storm, to capture the title. She is another one who I will be watching for the first time, and as I stated in Part I, that’s one of the many perks to the MYC. I do know this: based on the introductory video, Jinny will act as an arrogant heel; with a gimmick of being a model. Should be very interesting to see what Jinny brings to the proverbial table.

Kacy Catanzaro: I am not a viewer of American Ninja Warrior, but I have heard of the show, as well as the name Kacy Catanzaro. Kacy competed for three seasons of the hit NBC competition series, up until her retirement from the show in 2017. It was that same year that the 28-year-old was signed by WWE, and she had been competing in various NXT house shows against women such as Aliyah and fellow MYC combatants Rhea Ripley and Reina Gonzalez. The 2nd MYC will mark the largest bit of exposure for Kacy in her budding WWE career, and I am among many others looking forward to see how Kacy will perform at the tournament.

Tegan Nox: The story involving Tegan Nox in WWE is quite an interesting one. First off, the Welsh wrestling phenom is best known under the name, Nixon Newell, and she was actually announced for the first MYC last year. However, she became injured before the introductions were even made. She became determined to bounce back from her injury, with her drive leading to a return to in-ring action earlier this year. Nixon began competing under her real name, Steffanie Newell, before receiving the Tegan Nox name, and it was in her first appearance following her injury that she was paired with Dakota Kai at a live event, defeating Aliyah and Kavita Devi. I have had the fortune of seeing Tegan compete once before; I have Bellatrix 11 on DVD, and it was at the event that she (as Nixon Newell) participated in the event’s British Ladies Championship tournament. I can’t wait to watch her on the MYC.

Deonna Purrazzo: Deonna Purrazzo has to be the most high-profile indy wrestling alum out of all of participants in this year’s tournament. Her wrestling career began in 2014 and she has not looked back; making appearances in several promotions and even Impact Wrestling. Deonna is also known for igniting the Women of Honor division with her 2015 match against Mandy Leon, and she would spend three years competing in ROH, feuding with women such as Kelly Klein and fellow MYC combatant Karen Q. Deonna has also made appearances for WWE on its NXT program, and it was in late 2016 that she made a brief appearance on SmackDown Live as Alexa Bliss’ planned opponent. Just weeks later, Deonna returned to SmackDown as a villainess, appearing as the original evil La Luchadora associated with Bliss before Mickie James appeared as the character during the reveal. There is no question about Deonna’s abilities, she is one of the best out there today, and she will show out at the MYC and beyond in WWE.

The Mae Young Classic is closing in! More combatants to come! The tournament premieres on September 5!

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