Ex-Knockouts Champion Among Latest Competitors Confirmed For Mae Young Classic

Madison Rayne

Just a week after challenging Su Yung for the Impact Knockouts Championship at Slammiversary, Madison Rayne heads the list of new names for WWE’s Mae Young Classic.

Or should we say, Ashley Rayne, as that’s the name WWE is calling her.

The 31-year-old Ohio native has never worked under the name Ashley Rayne. Ashley, however, is her real first name, and she worked under the name Ashley Lane early in her wrestling career.

Although Rayne is best known for her time in IMPACT Wrestling and is a five-time Knockouts Champion, there is no mention made of any that by WWE. WWE is instead focusing on her working all over the world, although there is a slight acknowledgment of her time in IMPACT Wrestling by mentioning her history with Mickie James (in April 2011, Rayne dropped the Knockouts Championship to James).

Rayne’s addition to the 32-woman tournament is not a big surprise since she was heavily rumored as a participant.

The other two names are “the fast-rising” Priscilla Kelly and 19-year-old “wunderkind” Xia Brookside. Here is WWE’s announcement on Rayne, Kelly, and Brookside.

Ashley Rayne, Priscilla Kelly and Xia Brookside join Mae Young Classic 2018

Multi-time champion Ashley Rayne, the fast-rising Priscilla Kelly and 19-year-old wunderkind Xia Brookside are the latest athletes to be confirmed for this year’s Mae Young Classic.

The 32-woman tournament, which features competitors from around the globe, kicks off on WWE Network later this summer, with the finals taking place at WWE’s historic and first all-women’s pay-per-view, WWE Evolution, on Oct. 28.

A 13-year ring veteran from Columbus, Ohio, Ashley Rayne (pictured above) will not be intimidated by the Classic’s world-class field. Fighting far and wide, with tours of Japan, the U.K., mainland Europe and the United Arab Emigrates under her belt, Rayne has crossed paths with the likes of former WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James in the past. Her preferred finishing move, the Cross Rayne, is a vicious rolling cutter that threatens to twist opponents’ heads off their shoulders.

Making her pro debut a little over three years ago, 21-year-old Priscilla Kelly of Moon Creek, Ga., has already developed an ability to wage wicked mind games inside the ring. Though Kelly is equally capable of out-grappling her foes as staggering them with stomps and strikes, her physical prowess is trumped by her penchant for dominating the psychological struggle. Kelly is known to employ unorthodox tactics, including licking and biting her opponent to gain the edge.

The youngest woman to be announced for the Mae Young Classic so far, 19-year-old Xia Brookside of Leicester, England, enters the competition an already-decorated champion, having battled all over the globe while capturing titles and winning tournaments. The spunky up-and-comer — the daughter of United Kingdom legend and WWE Performance Center coach Robbie Brookside — specializes in classic British grappling techniques, but also brings a hard-hitting influence from her experiences competing in Japan.

Stick with WWE.com for more details about this year’s Mae Young Classic in the coming weeks.

With the addition of Rayne, Kelly, and Brookside, WWE has confirmed 23 competitors for the 32-woman tournament.

  • Kaitlyn
  • Rhea Ripley
  • Io Shirai
  • Nicole Matthews
  • Jinny
  • Kacy Catanzaro
  • Deonna Purrazzo
  • Tegan Nox (formerly known as Nixon Newell)
  • Jessica Elaban
  • Reina Gonzalez
  • Mia Yim
  • Mercedes Martinez
  • Kavita Devi
  • Killer Kelly
  • Zeuxis
  • Isla Dawn
  • Lacey Lane
  • Karen Q
  • Toni Storm
  • Meiko Satomura
  • Ashley Rayne
  • Priscilla Kelly
  • Xia Brookside

A Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match took place at the July 18 NXT television tapings at Full Sail Live in Winter Park, Florida. Click here for the spoiler result of the match.

Mae Young Classic 2018 will be taped at Full Sail Live on August 8 and 9, with the finals taking place at WWE’s historic and first all-women’s pay-per-view, WWE Evolution, on October 28.