The countdown to the premiere of WWE’s Mae Young Classic Tournament is on!
As we approach the August 28th air date, WWE.com spoke with NXT Assistant Head Coach Sara Amato, praised for her backstage contributions and the development of WWE Women’s division, to discuss the significance behind historic the event, participants she looks most forward seeing compete in it and more. Highlights of the interview below.
Significance behind the Mae Young Classic: “It’s huge. The women of WWE are breaking barriers monthly, it seems. I just think about when I was an active wrestler. There was an independent promoter, Dave Prazak of SHIMMER, that believed in women and put us all together and gave us our own events. That was so significant for me and my own development, to be around all these strong, competitive women who pushed each other. I’m blessed right now to have that at the WWE Performance Center with my group of ladies. It’s just so significant to bring them all here and put them on a platform like this, and for WWE and WWE Network to trust them to carry their own tournament TV show is huge.”
Why the tournament will be a must-see show: “It’s difficult to explain. I think a lot of people are going to surprise you. I have girls at the PC who went through the tryout process and who come from all different backgrounds. What WWE has done now is really highlighted women as athletes, so we’re drawing much stronger, more competitive women, whereas before there was a stronger focus on sex appeal, right? Speaking from my experience coaching at the PC, you have these super high-level athletes, and now they’re going to be in the ring with other women who have tremendous experience, like the girls who’ve wrestled in Japan, or Princesa Sugehit from Mexico, or Mercedes Martinez. It’s hard to put into words, but I think it’s going to be very compelling.”
Competitors she looks most forward seeing participate: “Well, I have a very special place in my heart for Mercedes Martinez because she was my first rival in SHIMMER, and I’m just so fond of her and her work. She’s been doing this for so long, and so she’s come a long way to be in this environment. I know from training with Bianca Belair and Lacey Evans that they’re going to surprise a few people, too. They’re probably my top three picks that I’m pulling for and watching for. I’m also curious to see Piper Niven. She just has great conditioning and is unique. She moves well and is very unpredictable, very agile for her size and strength.”
The importance of an all-women’s platform: “It’s so empowering and motivating for young girls to have these strong women to look up to, to know that anything’s possible and that you can shoot for the moon. That’s one of the things that I love so much about Bayley, for example. It’s so important for the little girl watching at home to see that sort of thing.”
What did you think of the interview? Who are you looking most forward to compete in the Mae Young Classic? Let us know in the comments below!