The inaugural Mae Young Classic brought together 32 women -- a combination of WWE-contracted stars and top independent talent -- from around the world. The single-elimination tournament field was whittled down, until to just two women remained; Kairi Sane, "The Pirate Princess" and a recently signed high-value free agent, and women's MMA pioneer "The Queen of Spades," Shayna Baszler.
The Tuesday final of this historic tournament was a full day's worth of excitement, from the red carpet to the ring. It was a no-holds-barred celebration of female professional wrestling, and an exhibition of just how far the WWE has come over the past few years.
This one-of-a-kind Mae Young doll, made by Mattel and conceived by fashion designer Linda Jane in collaboration with WWE, was unveiled at the start of the day's red carpet festivities. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix on the red carpet before the Mae Young Classic finale. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Tuesday was a star-studded night, featuring numerous special guests. Kate Nash, one of four cast members of the Netflix series "GLOW," wore this pair of pink boots to the show. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN WWE executives Stephanie McMahon and Paul "Triple H" Levesque, who are married, share their red carpet excitement. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN A key, with the word "fight" engraved on it, hangs around the neck of former UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey as she's interviewed on the Mae Young Classic red carpet. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN WWE Superstar fashion dolls from Mattel, featuring female wrestlers, rest inside gift bags before the inaugural Mae Young Classic finale. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN The scene at Thomas & Mack Center, before Natalya and Naomi battle for the SmackDown women's championship on "SmackDown Live," prior to the Mae Young Classic finals. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Hair and energy fly around the ring as Natalya and Naomi mix it up in the squared circle. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Twelve-year-old fan Elizabeth McFarland raises her belt high in the air as she watches the night's events. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Alanis Delgadillo holds a belt as her dad, Robert Delgadillo, holds her while they watch Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler enter the ring prior to the finals of the Mae Young Classic. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Tournament finalist Kairi Sane, "The Pirate Princess," during introductions. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN "Glow" cast member Sydelle Noel cheers from the front row. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN With her strength and skilled MMA background, Shayna Baszler controlled much of the match against Kairi Sane. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Kairi Sane can't believe Shayna Baszler escaped before the three-count after a double-foot stomp from the top rope. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Kairi Sane seals up victory by dropping her signature "In-Sane" flying elbow onto an immobilized Baszler. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Ronda Rousey reacts to her friend Shayna Baszler in tournament's finals match. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN Kairi Sane, flanked by WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon (left) and trainer Sara Amato, is announced as the champion of the inaugural Mae Young Classic. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN WWE fans Alicia Booth and Carla Duran erupt with excitement at the conclusion of the match. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN
Elizabeth McFarland and her father, George, share in the excitement of the inaugural Mae Young Classic. A historic night for women's professional wrestling. Patrick T. Fallon for ESPN