WWE officially has two sets of Four Horsewomen.
WWE.com announced Monday that Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, the remaining two members of MMA’s Four Horsewomen, have reported to the WWE Performance Center to begin “making the move from mixed martial arts to sports-entertainment,” following in the footsteps of teammates Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey.
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) May 7, 2018
Here’s what WWE had to say about Duke and Shafir in their report:
The 5-foot-11 Duke fought professionally from 2012 to 2016, competing in the bantamweight class for organizations including the UFC. She was also a member of the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” reality competition series in 2013, as part of “Team Rousey.”
Shafir, known by the nickname “The Supernova from Maldova,” stands 5-foot-7 and has fought under the banners of Invicta and Lights Out Promotions. She is also engaged to NXT Superstar Roderick Strong and has been seen at ringside for many of The Messiah of the Backbreaker’s matches.
Duke and Shafir couldn’t have joined WWE at a more perfect time. Baszler is currently reigning supreme as NXT Women’s Champion, and Rousey is slowly but surely working her way to a title shot on Raw. As an added bonus, Shafir’s fiance, Roderick Strong, is one half of the current NXT Tag Team Champions and one fourth of the Undisputed Era. Indeed, there’s plenty of storyline potential to go around for everyone.
Furthermore, Duke and Shafir should get trained up just in time for WWE to finally give us the Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen match that was teased last year. Now that every WWE pay-per-view is co-branded, it hardly matters that WWE’s Four Horsewomen are on separate brands. Of course, Bayley and Sasha Banks will have to resolve their differences first, but I don’t expect this marquee showdown to happen until SummerSlam or Survivor Series at the earliest. In other words, the Boss and the Hugger have plenty of time to get on the same page.
Riding Rousey’s Coattails?
I hate to say it, but I have to address the fact that this whole thing stinks of nepotism. Duke has a 3-5 pro record and hasn’t fought inside the octagon since July 2016, while Shafir is 1-2 and hasn’t fought since July 2015 (interesting side note: she lost both of her last two matches by knockout in 37 seconds). Point being, their MMA careers alone are not necessarily WWE contract-worthy – but their friendship with Rousey and Baszler certainly bolsters their case. And, more importantly, Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen is what’s best for business.
For what it’s worth, though, Duke began training inside a wrestling ring at least as early as last August, so it appears she’s genuinely interested in making the transition to pro wrestling and not just motivated by a big payday. As for Shafir, it doesn’t appear that she’s had any prior training, but given that her fiance and the father of her child is a pro wrestler, she undoubtedly has a deep understanding of and appreciation for the business.
But, just like Baszler and Rousey did, Duke and Shafir will definitely have to prove themselves.
Are you excited that Duke and Shafir have joined WWE? Do you think the two sets of Four Horsewomen are destined to collide? Share your thoughts and comments below!