The WWE has confirmed the next wave of competitors slated to participate in next month's inaugural Mae Young Classic, which includes a few more big names from the world of independent wrestling as well as a couple of shockers
In an ESPN.com exclusive, WWE has confirmed that Tessa Blanchard, Abbey Laith (formerly Kimber Lee), Alpha Female, Taynara Conti and Kavita Devi will all be among the 32-woman tournament field.
The growing list seems to indicate the unprecedented all-women's single-elimination tournament will feature talent from around the world at a level similar in prestige and variety to last year's Cruiserweight Classic.
Here's what you need to know about the latest wave of additions to the first ever Mae Young Classic.
As the daughter of Tully Blanchard (one of the legendary Four Horseman), the stepdaughter of NWA standout Magnum TA and granddaughter of Joe Blanchard, who trained Dusty Rhodes, Blanchard has roots richly steeped in professional wrestling. The 21-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, has competed in China and Japan, and trained with 205 Live superstar Cedric Alexander.
Formerly known as "Kimber Lee," Laith joined the WWE Performance Center as part of another class of recruits in January. This opportunity came after more than six years in the world of independent wrestling, where she won titles with various promotions such as Shimmer, Shine and WSU. The 26-year-old from Seattle became the first woman in wrestling history to win a primary championship of a male-centric promotion when she won CHIKARA Grand Championship in December 2015. She's also fought in NXT as Kimberly Frankele, losing to Ember Moon last December among several other appearances, including a recent match with Ruby Riot and a battle royal to determine the No. 1 contender to the NXT women's championship. Laith revealed her new wrestling name Wednesday.
A 5-foot-6 newcomer to WWE, Conti is a black belt in judo and blue belt in jiu-jitsu, having trained in her native Rio de Janeiro, Conti was among a class of recruits to join the WWE Performance Center last October.
Devi is trainee of former WWE heavyweight champion, The Great Khali, and has competed for India's Continental Wrestling Entertainment. Additionally, she was among 34 international athletes to compete at a WWE tryout hosted in Dubai in April. The 30-year-old India native has also competed in weightlifting at the national level in her home country, as well as several MMA fights.
Also known as Jazzy Gabert, the 35-year-old fighter from Berlin has competed in MMA (1-1) and previously worked with Stardom in Japan, as well as TNA (now IMPACT Wrestling). She received a WWE tryout in 2012.
These five women will join the first four names that the WWE announced last week; we now know more than 25 percent of the 32-woman field. The previous batch of competitors includes:
Lacey Evans: A U.S. Marines veteran, Evans served five years as military police and a member of the Special Reactions Team. The 27-year-old from Parris Island, South Carolina, has a 4-year-old daughter and started a construction company at 22.
Sarah Logan: Previously known as "Crazy Mary Dobson," Logan made appearances for WWE as enhancement talent several times between 2014 and 2016, before signing a WWE contract in October 2016. She trained under Taka Michinoku in Japan, and she's won Olympic powerlifting competitions.
Toni Storm: Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Storm made her wrestling debut at 13 years old and competed in 13 different countries before she was 20. She wrestled for WWE at WrestleMania Axxess earlier this year. She's the PROGRESS women's champion and features prominently for Japanese all-women's promotion Stardom.
Princesa Sugehit: Since turning professional in 1996, Sugehit has wrestled in CMLL and AAA in her home country of Mexico, where she's won numerous titles and four high-stakes mask-vs.-mask matches.
The tournament, named after WWE Hall of Famer Mae Young, will be filmed at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, on July 13 and 14.
ESPN Stats & Information's Matt Willis contributed to this report.