WWE has signed indie darling Candice LeRae to a developmental deal.
LeRae first appeared in WWE as part of the Mae Young Classic, where she was ultimately eliminated in the quarterfinals by Shayna Baszler. After their match, Baszler refused to release her chokehold after LeRae tapped out, prompting LeRae’s real-life husband, NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano, to get involved.
The ending of the match sparked hope that LeRae would sign with WWE and the feud would continue, but alas – it wasn’t so. She wouldn’t appear in WWE again until October 2017, when she participated in a women’s battle royal for a spot in the match for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
LeRae’s husband, NXT star Johnny Gargano, commented on the signing.
She’s one of the best in the world and got here on her own merit. Blood, sweat and tears.. She’s sacrificed and worked incredibly hard for a very long time.
I’m proud of my Wife; Candice.. But even prouder of my favorite wrestler, the toughest person I know; Candice LeRae. https://t.co/1y7PRGSGo1
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) January 16, 2018
This is an exciting acquisition for NXT, whose women’s division has been running pretty thin ever since the departure of Asuka. LeRae has routinely wrestled men throughout her career, which resulted in her becoming the only woman to ever hold the PWG Tag Team Championship alongside her tag team partner, Joey Ryan.
For her last match on the independent circuit, LeRae wrestled Ryan.
— Woken Manny (@KidJalisco21) January 19, 2018
Ryan then grabbed the mic and let the audience know that Candice saved his wrestling career.
While WWE tends to shy away from intergender wrestling, it seems likely that LeRae will eventually wrestle a tag match with Gargano.
Are you excited to see Candice LeRae in NXT? Share your thoughts and comments below!