India’s Kavita Devi readies for Mae Young Classic return
Kavita Devi broke down barriers in last year’s WWE Mae Young Classic by becoming the first woman from India to compete in a WWE ring. This year, the powerhouse protégé of former World Heavyweight Champion The Great Khali sets her sights on a different achievement: winning the entire tournament.
Devi was revealed as the latest 2018 Classic competitor during a press event with Braun Strowman today in Mumbai, India. After The Monster Among Men announced her as a returning Mae Young Classic competitor, Devi — who trains at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., and was not in attendance — fielded questions from the press pool via a live video chat.
Devi’s groundbreaking performance in last year’s 32-woman tournament captivated the WWE Universe. Though she lost to NXT Superstar Dakota Kai in the opening round, Devi, a former medalist in weightlifting, displayed incredible power, at one point pressing Kai high overhead. Video of that match has generated 28 million views and counting on YouTube.
Devi has racked up numerous accomplishments since then. She reported for training at the WWE PC months later and, in January, was one of the 112 women to be honored as “First Ladies” (a distinction given to high-achieving female pioneers) by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. She has already stepped onto The Grandest Stage of Them All, too, competing in the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome in April.
Stay with WWE.com in the coming weeks for more Mae Young Classic announcements, and don’t miss the tournament when it streams on the award-winning WWE Network later this summer!