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Commentary team, broadcast schedule set for Mae Young Classic

With the first night of tapings taking place today, WWE has revealed a few additional details about the 2018 Mae Young Classic.

It will begin airing on the WWE Network at 9 p.m. Eastern time on September 5. The episodes will air after NXT every Wednesday, leading into the finals being held at WWE Evolution on October 28.

There will be a three-person commentary team for the tournament, with Michael Cole, Beth Phoenix, and Renee Young calling the action. Cathy Kelley and Shadia Bseiso, the first Arab woman to sign with WWE as a wrestler, will be the backstage interviewers, and Kayla Braxton will be the ring announcer. Bseiso also has experience working in television.

"A few years ago I was put in charge of all of the announcers in the company," Cole said in an interview with ESPN. "My goal when I took over was to have, for the first time, a full-time female commentator on one of our main shows. That is still my goal today and it led to, for the first time, having two women in the announcing booth for the Mae Young Classic. It blows me away that this is happening because as little as two years ago I would not have seen this happening."

Young has expressed renewed interest in doing commentary recently if the opportunity were to present itself. She was previously part of the NXT team. Phoenix also called WWE's Mixed Match Challenge alongside Cole and Corey Graves.

A bracketology special hosted by Phoenix and Mauro Ranallo is set to air on the WWE Network at 9 p.m. Eastern on August 29.

Tapings for the Mae Young Classic will continue tomorrow and set things up for the finals. Here's the full list of participants:

  • Kaitlyn
  • Rhea Ripley
  • Io Shirai
  • Nicole Matthews
  • Jinny
  • Kacy Catanzaro
  • Deonna Purrazzo
  • Tegan Nox (Nixon Newell's WWE name)
  • Jessie Elaban
  • Reina Gonzalez
  • Taynara Conti
  • Mia Yim
  • Mercedes Martinez
  • Kavita Devi
  • Killer Kelly
  • Zeuxis
  • Isla Dawn
  • Lacey Lane
  • Karen Q
  • Toni Storm
  • Meiko Satomura
  • Ashley Rayne (Madison Rayne)
  • Priscilla Kelly
  • Xia Brookside
  • Hiroyo Matsumoto
  • Aerial Monroe
  • Vanessa Kraven
  • Allysin Kay (Sienna)
  • Xia Li
  • Rachel Evers (Rachael Ellering)
  • MJ Jenkins
  • Zatara