The WWE has officially announced a long-rumored women's tournament, which will run on the WWE Network in summer 2017. The WWE made the announcement today at WWE Axxess, a fan festival that takes place Wrestlemania weekend. Triple H announced that it will be a 32 woman tournament, featuring wrestlers from 17 different countries on Twitter.
Divas Revolution. Women's Evolution.— Triple H (@TripleH) April 1, 2017
And this summer, 32 women from 17 countries compete in a tournament of their own ONLY on @WWENetwork.
The women's tournament has been in the planning stages for almost a year, although they've only mentioned plans in passing during various press conferences. This will be the third tournament the WWE has hosted in the last year, following the successful Cruiserweight Classic and the WWE United Kingdom tournament.
The WWE has quietly signed up some big names for the tournament, including indie stars Heidi Lovelace, Evie, Kimber Lee, and Kairi Hojo. Japanese star Io Shirai (considered by many to be the best female wrestler in the world) also recently had a tryout with the WWE and could be another wrestler for the tournament.
The WWE Women's Tournament could also explain why the NXT women's division has felt thin in recent months. After Carmella, Alexa Bliss, Bayley, and Nia Jax were all called up to the main roster in summer 2016, the women's division has shrunk to just five wrestlers. It's possible the WWE is holding some of their talent back for the women's tournament, which would also explain why Asuka is rumored to stay in NXT for at least a few more months.
Other than finding out who exactly will be participating in the competition, the biggest question is what the wrestlers will be competing for. Both the Cruiserweight Classic and the UK Tournament ended with the winner earning a new championship belt, but there's already three women's titles in the WWE. Will the winner get a title shot against one of the existing champions? Or will they be competing for a vacant title, perhaps caused by Asuka getting her call up to the main roster?
The WWE's women's tournament will be a hot topic in the weeks after Wrestlemania, so stay tuned for more news.