“When we first started, to be honest, I was concerned with doing a 32-woman tournament. I thought it might need to be 16 to keep the skill level at its peak, but the more I started to dig the more I started to uncover gold, and seeing these diamonds that were just kinda sitting out there. And I started this because women that are in this tournament, the respect level I have for them of doing what they do, they do it for the same reasons we all got into the business, [which] is for the love of it, right? You see something, or you go to an event, or whatever, and you fall in love with it. You think it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever seen, and you determine that’s what you’re going to do with your life.
“But the difference for the guys is [that] no matter what level you’re at—even for the Cruiserweight guys—there’s always this chance that there’s this pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, right? And that’s why you get on the rainbow in the first place. For these women, they got on that rainbow and they started to do it. They did the same grind, they tried to do the same, you know, make the same name for themselves and do all those things, except there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For many, one or two or a small handful there was maybe WWE. Really, outside of that, there wasn’t much opportunity for them, but yet they still continued to grind and they made it their life and their life’s work, you know?
“That, to me, is an even bigger respect level than what the guys go through. So now I’m happy that they can jump on that rainbow, and now they’re seeing that that pot of gold is there. That that rainbow has an end to it, and then there’s something there for them. And now I feel like the Mae Young Classic, while the attention has been there on the main roster of the Women’s Division and NXT, but now the main roster is going to be set by things like the Mae Young Classic. That’s the pot of gold for these guys to transition into something more.”
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