The Mae Young Classic was a multi-night special event promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion, WWE. It was constituted by a 32 competitor tournament exclusively for women from both NXT and the independent circuit. The tournament took place on July 13, and 14, 2017, which aired on the WWE Network on August 28 (round 1) and September 4 (round 2, quarterfinals, and semifinals), and the final match aired live on September 12, 2017, also on the WWE Network. The winner of the inaugural tournament was Kairi Sane.
WWE announced that a women's tournament would be taking place in the summer of 2017 at a press conference during WrestleMania 33 weekend. There will be a total of 32 wrestlers competing. The name of the event is in honor of the late WWE Hall of Famer Mae Young. It was announced on their official website that the first four wrestlers to be competing would be Sarah Logan, Lacey Evans, Princesa Sugehit, and Toni Storm. The second set of names announced were Tessa Blanchard, Abbey Laith, Taynara Conti, Jazzy Gabert, and Kavita Devi. On June 26, 2017, Lita and Jim Ross were announced as the commentators for the tournament. The third set of names announced were Kairi Sane, Dakota Kai, Piper Niven, and Bianca Belair. The fourth set of names announced were Rhea Ripley and Sage Beckett. The fifth set of names announced were Kay Lee Ray and Ayesha Raymond. Later in the day, Vanessa Borne qualified to the classic. On July 13, 2017, WWE held the Mae Young Classic: Parade of Champions, a pre-tournament event streamed live on YouTube and Facebook and revealed the remaining tournament participants. The Mae Young Classic also featured WWE's first full-time female referee, Jessika Carr.