The WWE has made its women's division a high priority, as evidenced by this summer's Mae Young Classic. After the success of that first-ever all-women's tournament, the WWE continued the expansion by signing its first female superstars from India and the Middle East.
WWE officially announced the signings of India's Kavita Devi and Jordan's Shadia Bseiso to developmental contracts Sunday, while on a media tour centered around Jinder Mahal, the first-ever WWE champion of Indian lineage. Both women will begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, in January.
"Recruiting Kavita and Shadia to join our developmental system underscores WWE's ongoing commitment to building a talent roster as diverse as our fan base," said Paul "Triple H" Levesque, WWE executive vice president of talent, live events and creative. "We're confident Kavita and Shadia will inspire future WWE superstars."
Devi competed in the Mae Young Classic, where she lost in the opening round to Dakota Kai; she's an accomplished powerlifter and won gold for India at the 2016 South Asian Games. She was trained by former WWE World Heavyweight Champion The Great Khali.
"It was a privilege to be the first Indian woman to compete in WWE," Devi said. "Participating in the Mae Young Classic with some of the best female performers in the world was a great learning experience. Now I am looking forward to pursuing my dream of becoming the first WWE women's champion from India."
Bseiso is a blue belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu and TV presenter. She came to the WWE's attention during an invitation-only tryout in Dubai earlier this year. Bseiso appeared in the crowd alongside fellow new WWE recruit Kacy Catanzaro, an "American Ninja Warrior" standout during the Mae Young Classic.
"It is an honor to be the first-ever woman from the Middle East to sign with WWE," said Bseiso, who attended the Mae Young Classic. "I have personally witnessed the power of WWE and the passion of WWE fans."
The WWE Performance Center already has recruits from China, India, Brazil and numerous European countries.