Raquel Gonzales recently spoke with TV Insider and discussed the Mae Young Classic. The tournament made it’s debut in 2017 and saw Kairi Sane defeat Shayna Baszler in the finals. The tournament returned in 2018, where Toni Storm would go on to win by defeating Io Shirai. Triple H had stated in August 2019 that the Mae Young Classic would return once again, and even advertised for the tournament to be taking place on November 2-3, however, those postings were later removed and the tournament never took place. Gonzales spoke on the tournament and said she would like to see it make a return.
“I would like to see it come back,” Gonzales said. “It was a good platform. There’s a variety of different talent within the women’s division. There is so much women’s wrestling going on in the world.”
It was originally reported in 2016 that Gonzales had signed with WWE. She returned to NXT programming back in February at NXT TakeOver: Portland, and that was the first time she had been seen since competing in the 2018 Mae Young Classic when she was defeated in the first round by Kacy Catanzaro. Gonzales said she has been coached heavily during her time at the Performance Center, and credited a couple of people for her development.
“Everyone at the WWE Performance Center has been so helpful and kind to me ever since I started,” Gonzales said. “Sara Amato has been the one in the past year that really helped me hone my skills and my skillset, along with bringing in some new stuff that could help me differentiate myself from the other big girls. I have to give the biggest thanks to her and her class last year.
“Scotty 2 Hotty helped me at the beginning of my career, as well as Robbie Brookside and Norman Smiley,” Gonzales added. “They’ve all taught me a different set of skills. Scotty brought out more of the attitude part I feel like I needed to work on. It has really been an all hands-on project. Sara has helped me the most at this time, though.”
Gonzales reflected on the history of professional wrestling and said she has taken some inspiration from several superstars, including Kane and the Undertaker, for how they carried themselves.
“I studied Stan Hansen for so long because of his wild aggression and grittiness,” Gonzales said. “That’s something I try to portray because I am a big, strong powerhouse. I’m also gritty. I also watched a lot of Madusa. I just love the way she moved in the ring. Her athletic ability, her creativeness, her skillset – it was different stuff she did for women’s wrestling. I take a little bit from Eddie Guerrero with his style and attitude. Then I watched the Undertaker and Kane with their stature and how they carried themselves as the big men on the roster.”
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