The Five to Watch 2013: Candice LeRae

Welcome to Diva Dirt’s Five to Watch 2013! This annual list compiles five rising talents in the world of women’s wrestling that we think have what it takes to be the next big thing.

RELATED: Diva Dirt’s Five to Watch Class of 2012

From their in-ring abilities to their unique personalities, we aim to spotlight some of the upcoming female talent that you may not yet know about. Over the next five days, we will unveil the names that the Diva Dirt staff have handpicked.


Who is she?: Originally hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, this nerdy blonde Canadian has called California home for many years. You may recognize Candice LeRae from a recent appearance on Impact Wrestling, where she answered Knockouts Champion Gail Kim’s open challenge, just coming up short but turning a lot of heads her way in the process.

Photo: Candice LeRae/Twitter

Photo: Candice LeRae/Twitter

Her story so far: Trained by the likes of Bill Anderson, Jesse Hernandez and Puma, Candice made her professional wrestling debut in 2002. The “Canadian Goddess” wrestled around California for the likes of Empire Wrestling Federation and All Pro Wrestling, but it was when she began appearing for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla that she really started to come into her own and established herself. One of her most prominent storylines in the company took place in 2007 and involved being beaten and bullied by the wrestler she managed, Human Tornado, until she finally stood up for herself. She would also form a partnership with Chris Hero during this time. LeRae was a constant in PWG for many years – accepting challenges from many men and women alike – and would show off an intensity and tenacity that was unparalleled by women in California at the time.

Over the years, Candice also formed a love-hate relationship with Joey Ryan, who had a tendency to “Boobplex” her at any chance he got, until she found a vicious counter: the “Ballsplex”. Their relationship currently rests on the “love” side of things, as the two have now formed a very successful tag team. The pair has also started their own YouTube show, cleverly titled The Candice & Joey Show, which follows their adventures wrestling around the country.

In 2013, Candice has made her debut for many a notable promotion – Beyond Wrestling, SMASH, Combat Zone Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling and Family Wrestling Entertainment – and her work has garnered her much positive attention from the wrestling community, resulting in a TNA tryout, and later appearance on television.

Photo: Candice LeRae/Twitter

Photo: Candice LeRae/Twitter

Why we chose her: Candice LeRae has always been a fixture on the independent circuit, but it was 2013 where she really shone. The feisty young wrestler is constantly striving to improve and work on both her skills and her look and it is truly paying off for her. Her breathtaking agility and daring is entertaining people by the day, capturing the attention of many new independent promotions and landing her on the radar of the number two wrestling company in America. Candice is sure to go places in 2014 – we don’t doubt that she’ll be mixing it up in one of the top all-female promotions in the very near future.

Follow Candice on Twitter: @CandiceLeRae.

  • BorisG

    Candice is definitely one to watch. Also Santana.

    • BBB Doy Doy Doof

      She’s been the one to watch since 2007 when she improved

  • shamaramill

    I love Candice LeRae, she’s awesome!

  • TotalJojo

    I wasn’t too impressed by her on TNA. I don’t really see her going too far in mainstream wrestling. I wish her success in the indies though since she seems to be appreciated there.

  • redsandman99

    I admit I didn’t really see the major hype when she answered Gail’s challenge but then I took a look at her PWG work. That right there turned me into a fan.

  • ????? KING ?????

    Love this girl she has it would love to see her in TNA or WWE one day hopefully soon

  • Aaron Evans

    People are quick to berate the Divas on their performance, but personally, I prefer there matches opposed to the one above. Granted, it’s not the best example of an indy match, but I’d take most divas matches over this “/.
    Think it’s the pace, so slow.

    • kewlkatz

      You’d take most Divas matches over a technical, well-worked match….? lol guess a 3 minute botchfest is enough if you’re a Deever

      • BBB Doy Doy Doof

        Botchfests are more interesting because you see them improve. Indies, they are just similar to eachother

        • RadicalRhys

          I see your logic of wanting to see the improvement of girls with little experience to being better in the ring, but I’d rather see a girl with good to great skills get better with longer and more entertaining matches rather than have myself watch bad matches to begin with then getting them up to be decent.
          But it also boils down to what people would also rather see, a match in a massive arena filled environment or having people fight in a gymnasium as well. Setting can make a big difference on a person’s perspective.

      • Aaron Evans

        The match above was not well worked, usually only the ppv ones are. A lengthy match like the indy girls work need to be paced, granted, but they also need some sections of quickness to them. Big spots also, to draw the attention back to the match. I also prefer a stadium sized audience to a school gym, obviously that’s not the girls fault but it helps with the feel of the match – personal preference anyways.

        I also enjoy seeing the girls as newbies and learning the ropes, gaining more confidence and showing off what they’re capeable of doing. Cameron and Naomi are a good example, and McCool and Trish from the past too.
        I also quite like the occasional botch, it makes it seem more real and not a stage show that’s been rehearsed to point precision.

        Side Note; a common trend of ‘I’ throughout, just something to think about before making a stupid comment :). (Not attacking you personally kewlkatz, just in general. People seem to forget that our opinions can differ)

        • Aaron Evans

          Santana Garrett is an indy girl I enjoy! She knows how to work a match!

  • Scott J

    You can definitely tell the people that are only familiar with main stream women’s wrestling. Candace is a great wrestler. Her match with Gail Kim on TNA was meant to be a squash match, so no, she isn’t going to look that good. 2013 seemed to be a year of resurgence for her and I hope she is able to continues to draw attention.

    • shamaramill

      I agree! They are judging Candice on one stupid squash match when she is much more talented than that!

  • BBB Doy Doy Doof

    I’m glad to see candice still wrestling. I’m glad beth didn’t end her career when she knocked her off the top rope

    • Alex Ángeles. ?

      This Candice, is not WWE’s Candice Michelle, Candice now have kids and is a retired wrestler. :)

      • Brandon

        Lmao I just wanted to act like a dumb blonde. I’m glad ppl noticed this lol

  • Looking Glass

    I felt so short-changed by TNA after her PPV match. I know it was ‘free on TV’ but they could have given it more time, I was looking forward to seeing how she meshed with Gail for a potential future.