It was a bit of a surprise for many fans when Candice LeRae was not among the women WWE signed immediately after last year’s Mae Young Classic—but that may change soon, as reports suggest that the indie wrestling veteran is close to signing a deal with the WWE.
According to the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Candice LeRae is going through medical tests and other standard procedures that all prospective talents have to go through before being allowed to sign with the WWE. If LeRae passes her medicals and is found not to have any health problems such as concussion-related issues or other injuries, she will start working exclusively with the WWE, and should presumably stop accepting independent dates. At this moment, it still isn’t sure when she will make her WWE debut.
Prior to this new development, LeRae had appeared in two NXT TV tapings; as noted in the Internet Wrestling Database, these were both battle royals featuring several of her fellow Mae Young Classic competitors. At the MYC, she made it all the way to the quarterfinal round, where she lost to former UFC fighter and recent NXT signee Shayna Baszler. Despite speculation that LeRae would be among the women signed by the WWE right after the tournament ended, she remained in the indies in the months that followed, continuing her in-ring partnership with Joey Ryan in “The World’s Cutest Tag Team.”
Aside from her extensive track record in the independent scene, one reason fans expected LeRae to be an instant WWE signee after the Mae Young Classic is the fact that she has been married to NXT star Johnny Gargano since 2016. After an unsuccessful attempt to become the first American to win the WWE United Kingdom Championship, Gargano is slated to face reigning champ Andrade “Cien” Almas for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia on January 27.
Although it feels as if she’s been around forever in the indies, LeRae is only 32-years-old and in the prime of her career – not young for a prospective NXT rookie, but definitely not too old to make an impact. If the reports are true, her talent and experience will make her a great addition to WWE’s developmental roster, whose female ranks were recently gutted by several call-ups, including members of new villainous factions Absolution and The Riott Squad.
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