Triple H On Which Mae Young Classic Competitors Stood Out

WWE’s inaugural Mae Young Classic is almost here. The first four episodes of the historic 32-woman tournament will be available on demand, exclusively on the WWE Network, beginning this Monday at 9 a.m. ET.

The Mae Young Classic, named after WWE Hall of Famer Mae Young, will feature some of the greatest in-ring competitors from around the globe. Calling the action will be legendary announcer and WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, alongside four-time Women’s Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Lita.

Paul “Triple H” Levesque spoke to NBC Sports about the process of putting together the tournament and revealed some of the performers who really stood out to him.

“Jazzy Gabert from Germany was a real standout performer. I’d seen tape of her and was obviously aware of her, but when I saw her go in person, it’s one of those things where sometimes when people see talent in other places they’d say ‘Oh yeah we knew she was great too,’ but when you bring them up for a big opportunity it’s like the prize-fighter that’s really good, but when he gets in the pressure of a world title match, he’s just not what he should be. That level of pressure is different.

“Some of these girls did better, some didn’t do as well, but certain ones thrived and Jazzy Gabert was one that really thrived. Bianca Belair, who hasn’t been doing this for very long, has a level of poise that just blew me away. Shayna Baszler is somebody that I’ve seen begin to make the transition from MMA into what we do and sometimes that can be a rough transition.

“Xia Li is someone that a year ago didn’t even know what WWE was, but when I saw her perform I was blown away. When she came back [through the curtain] she was bawling because I think she amazed herself.

“So there were a lot of those stories. People who came in that you knew had the ability, but when you saw them in person, they just came into their own. Some have been doing it for a long time. Mercedes Martinez is another one who I knew was good, but when I watched her go I was thoroughly impressed.”