Popular WWE Women's Tournament Officially Returning, Rumored Participants

WWE's inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017 was a groundbreaking tournament. The all female tournament coming off the popularity of WWE's cruiserweight tournament broke down barriers in an industry that has been historically dominated by men.

On Thursday, WWE announced that the tournament will be returning this summer. The full press release is below, courtesy of WWE.

WWE's Mae Young Classic 2018 to be held at Full Sail Live, tickets available tomorrow

STAMFORD, Conn. – WWE today announced that Mae Young Classic 2018 will take place Wednesday, Aug. 8, and Thursday, Aug. 9, from Full Sail Live in Orlando, Fla., with tickets available tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT via www.nxttickets.com.

The tournament, named after WWE Hall of Famer and one of the greatest WWE Superstars in history, Mae Young, will once again feature 32 of the top female competitors from 12 countries participating in a single-elimination tournament. The second annual event will stream exclusively on WWE Network later this summer.

"We are thrilled to once again present the Mae Young Classic and provide a global showcase for 32 of the top female talent from around the world," said Paul "Triple H" Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative. "Last year's event was a significant milestone in WWE's Women's Evolution, and I am confident this year's event will break even more barriers."

Additional information on Mae Young Classic 2018 will be announced in the coming weeks.

Last year's tournament was won by current NXT star Kairi Sane. Also featured in last year's tournament were such names as Candice LeRae (current NXT star), Shayna Baszler (current NXT women's champion), Tessa Blanchard (now with Impact Wrestling), Toni Storm (PROGRESS Wrestling women's champion), Dakota Kai (current NXT star), Sarah Logan (current WWE main roster star), Mia Yim (independent star), and Mercedes Martinez (Current SHINE star), among others.

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One name was confirmed recently for this year's tournament via Tokyo Sports: Meiko Satomura. This is a huge signing for the tournament by WWE as Satomura is one of the most highly regarded Japanese women's stars of the last decade. She also formerly wrestled for WCW at just 17 years old.

Some names rumored for this year's tournament, though not confirmed yet, include a return for Toni Storm, Jinny (also of PROGRESS), Nixon Newell (NXT signee), and Io Shirai. Shirai is another top women's star from Japan who was rumored to be set to win last year's tournament before having to withdraw due to an injury. She is reportedly now WWE bound.