With the first episodes premiering on the WWE Network on Monday, WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque spoke with the folks at Muscle & Fitness to promote the first-annual Mae Young Classic tournament. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On if the Mae Young Classic will become a reoccuring event, or eventually transform to something similar to 205 Live: “I do. Not 100% sure what that is. In some ways, I think the Cruiserweights is a different platform that can have its own distinct individual show. I don’t know if the women need that right now. The Cruiserweights, they have a match here or there on RAW, and then they have their own division and their own show on 205. With the women, you have opportunities on RAW, you have opportunities on SmackDown, you have opportunities at NXT. Hopefully, over time you’ll have opportunities in the U.K. You’ll have opportunities in different localized markets. Those are the things, for me, that it begins to spread around.
“I would love for the Mae Young to be this recurring yearly, or whatever it is, this recurring thing that is the opportunity for the girls that are out there grinding, for the girls that are out there working at the little armories and the little places and dreaming about that pot of gold to be able to jump on the rainbow and start to take the ride. And for us to scan around the world every year and say, ‘Who do we want to look at this year, and give them that opportunity? Who’s really improved since last year to take this opportunity? Who’s that next level? Who’s that next generation of stars?’ To me, that’s where something like the Mae Young Classic becomes a huge opportunity. And if it’s my decision, yeah it will be exactly that. An opportunity that keeps coming back over and over.”
On WWE naming the all-women tournament after Hall Of Famer Mae Young: “So there [were] a lot of decisions and a lot of names thrown around, and there was a team that went through all that stuff. At the end of the day, we were looking for something that kinda symbolized the transition. And while I think a lot of people would say, like, you know, ‘Why didn’t you name it The [Fabulous] Moolah Classic?’, or ‘Why didn’t you name it after some other female?’ To me, Mae was the one person that, when you look at it, Mae Young started at the very beginning of her life. Got into a men’s-only business and against all conceivable odds stayed in that business and competed much like Moolah did or all these other people. But Mae was one of the only ones that was able to really transition into the modern day.
“Mae was able to transition into the entertainment component of the Attitude Era in a way that if you look at the Attitude Era and you look at Mae Young, you can look at Moolah standing next to her. But Moolah was just kinda there in the straight man or straight woman in the equation. Mae was the one that was like, ‘I don’t care. I’ll do it.’ You know, she was half the time suggesting stuff that we’re like, ‘Oh God. Mae, we can’t do that.’ You know?”
Check out the complete Triple H interview at MuscleAndFitness.com.