Shayna Baszler, one of the MMA’s notorious Four Horsewomen, has now officially left the mixed martial arts world of UFC that made her a household name. The “Queen of Spades” said it was the “next step” in her career as a combat athlete.
Having made her debut into the world of professional wrestling in 2015, Brazler’s wrestling career has only gone from strength to strength after a shaky start. Now she is officially signed to the WWE to their developmental territory in Florida as an NXT Superstar.Last week, she started full-time training at the WWE performance centre. Speaking to WWE.com about this dramatic career development, she said, “I’m looking forward to getting out there and twisting limbs off and breaking bodies.” Brazler is pictured below at her pro-wrestling debut in September 2015. Whilst she ultimately lost to Cheerleader Melissa, she went on to have her first victory later that year against Nicole Matthews. The “Queen of Spades” made wrestling history this summer when she fought her way to the finals of the WWE Mae Young Classic, aired exclusively on the WWE Network. After such favorable booking, it’s therefore no surprise that she was signed by the WWE after such an impressive performance. It was Braszler’s use of her MMA-honed rear-naked chokehold that saw her emerge victorious during the first four rounds of the WWE Mae Young Classic. Fans also saw her beat Candice LeRae following a shocking heel turn (that is, the art of changing from a “good guy” to a “bad guy”). As Ronda Rousey’s former training partner, Braszler’s style of catch wrestling was developed under the tutelage former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett and the late Billy Robinson. With such an extensive pedigree, there’s no doubt she’ll be a dominant force in the already thriving women’s division in WWE.
“It’s very serious to me and, in some ways, a lot more important [than MMA] based on where I come from. Waving the banner of my coaches is a heavy flag to wield, so it’s something I take very serious. Because of that, I wanted to start at the beginning and show that I’m willing to start at the bottom and prove myself and work my way up, so there’s no excuse when I get here and I’m breaking these girls in half. I didn’t get any ‘gimmes.'”Baszler, however, is not the only member of the MMA’s four horsewomen to be linked with the WWE. Ever since her appearance at Wrestlemania 31 with The Rock, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, rumors of Ronda Rousey joining the company have constantly been burning. During the Mae Young Classic, Rousey made a point of being at the ringside to cheer Braszler on every step of the way. Rousey’s appearance further flamed rumors of a possible confrontation/match between the MMA’s “four horsewomen” and the WWE’s “four horsewomen” – Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch – all of whom are former Women’s Champions in the company. Braszler is now training hard in the hope that she will eventually be added to the WWE’s full-time roster, appearing on either WWE’s flagship shows, Monday Night Raw or Tuesday night’s Smackdown Live. Now that sporting fans are hoping Conor McGregor will return to the boxing ring in the near future after establishing himself as an MMA fighter, this development in Baszler’s career is particularly exciting, and proves MMA stars can have a thriving career outside of the UFC. It is more than likely that she will be followed by other MMA stars into the WWE in the near future.