The final of the Mae Young Classic took place following SmackDown Live on Tuesday night, and the tournament's first ever winner has been crowned.
For the past two weeks on the WWE Network, 32 women were narrowed down to two as female Superstars from around the world competed in the first ever Mae Young Classic. The tournament has been a huge success, and the two women who made it all the way to the final were former MMA star, Shayna Baszler, and Japanese wrestler, Kairi Sane.
The final took place this past Tuesday night live from Las Vegas immediately following SmackDown Live. Many big stars were in attendance such as WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix, NXT announcer Mauro Ranallo, and of course Shayna Baszler's fellow MMA Horsewomen including former UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Unfortunately for Baszler's buddies though, it was not Shayna who emerged victorious.
WWE crowned the first ever winner of the Mae Young Classic, and that winner was Kairi Sane. The Japanese star has become a fan favorite over the course of the tournament and she certainly gave it her all in her bout with Baszler. The former UFC fighter has put every single one of her other opponents in the competition away with her choke hold, but Sane became the first to break out of it. It was only a matter of time following that moment, and once the Japanese star landed her signature elbow on the Queen of Spades, the match was over. Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and NXT trainer Sara Amato came to the ring after the match to award the trophy to Sane and congratulate the tournament's winner.
Women's wrestling continues to come on leaps and bounds in WWE, and this tournament progressed it even further. Women from around the world of all different styles competed, and it's very likely that a fair few of them will be signed to WWE off the back of their performances in this tournament. Winner Kairi Sane already has an NXT contract, and after the showings, Baszler has put in across her five matches, Triple H will likely be looking to tie her to the company as well.
The Mae Young Classic was the third tournament Triple H has helped put together in a little over a year, and easily the one with the most diverse crop of talent. It was a huge step in the right direction for WWE when it comes to propelling women's wrestling, and it will hopefully be the sign of even bigger things to come for the females of WWE and professional wrestling in general.