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.
Tessa Blanchard: 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.
Abbey Laith: 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, Washington 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.
Taynara Conti: A 5-foot-6 black belt in judo who participated in the 2016 Olympic trials in her native Rio de Janeiro, Conti was among a class of recruits to join the WWE Performance Center last October. She is a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Alpha Female: Also known as Jazzy Gabert, the 35-year-old fighter from Berlin, Germany 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.