Over the summer of 2017 WWE staged the Mae Young Classic. It was a single elimination tournament featuring 32 of the best female competitors from around the world, much like the Cruiserweight Classic the year before. The tournament was a huge hit and turned some of the participants into overnight stars.
Naturally off the back of that tournament WWE has signed some of the women that weren't already under contract with them. Although wrestlers such as Lacey Evans and eventual winner Kairi Sane were already under contract at NXT, other top stars in the tournament were not. Standout Shanya Baszler, one of MMA's four horsewomen, has also been snapped up and made her debut on NXT television just last week.
Another name from the Mae Young Classic that many fans have been dying to see signed to a WWE contract is Candice LeRae. The indie darling was a fan favorite during the tournament and eventually bowed out in the quarter finals to the aforementioned Baszler in a terrific match. Well now she may get a second chance at The Queen Of Spades as WWE has signed LeRae to a deal.
She's one of the best in the world and got here on her own merit. Blood, sweat and tears.. She's sacrificed and worked incredibly hard for a very long time.— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) January 16, 2018
I'm proud of my Wife; Candice.. But even prouder of my favorite wrestler, the toughest person I know; Candice LeRae. https://t.co/1y7PRGSGo1
Naturally most fans are pretty happy about the arrival of LeRae, and also a fair few WWE Superstars. Her husband and fellow NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano was one of the first to congratulate LeRae making sure to point out that she has made it to the big time 'on her own merit'. Bayley also took to Twitter to say that her 'heart just exploded with happiness' and that she has known LeRae for years, well before either of them made it to WWE.
My heart just exploded with happiness & love & joy. This is so long overdue & so well deserved. I’ve known @CandiceLeRae for years before I even signed w/ @WWE & she was always the one I wanted to be like. Def one of a kind & we are so lucky to have her. Congrats my friend 💜😘 https://t.co/DNDW2TQV7f— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) January 16, 2018
The women's divisions across all three brands are changing a lot right now. There were recently five call-ups from NXT to Raw and SmackDown Live with the likes of Ember Moon and The Iconic Duo probably following suit in the not so distant future. New stars like Candice LeRae will be taking the places of NXT's top women as they are called up and don't be surprised to see her involved in the Women's Championship scene some time in 2018.