One of NXT’s more promising female competitors is reportedly on her way out of WWE after less than two years with the company.
Citing unnamed sources within NXT, Squared Circle Sirens wrote on Sunday that Kacy Catanzaro — best-known prior to her WWE stint for her run on American Ninja Warrior — recently “handed in her notice” to WWE officials. Per these sources, Catanzaro chose to “stop wrestling” after suffering a back injury, though it wasn’t mentioned how or when she may have gone down with this injury.
After signing with WWE in January 2018, Catanzaro reported to the company’s Performance Center and later that year, took part in the second iteration of the Mae Young Classic, WWE’s annual women’s wrestling tournament. While she was eliminated in the second round after losing to Rhea Ripley, the American Ninja Warrior alum was chosen as one of the few surprise entrants in this year’s women’s Royal Rumble match in January. Per WWE’s official website, Catanzaro was the 19th entrant in the match and lasted 10 minutes and 45 seconds before she was eliminated by Ripley.
As noted separately by WrestlingNews.co, Catanzaro last wrestled on television in June, losing a singles match against last year’s Mae Young Classic runner-up, Io Shirai. She wrestled her final match during the July 19 NXT television tapings, where she and Lacey Lane defeated the duo of Marina Shafir and Taynara Conti.
Report: Kacy Catanzaro Leaves WWE https://t.co/QiRzUVO1L1
— Fightful Wrestling, MMA, Boxing (@Fightful) September 2, 2019
Months before she was first utilized in 2018 as part of the NXT women’s roster, the 29-year-old Catanzaro said in August 2017 that she decided to retire from American Ninja Warrior and make the move to professional wrestling after receiving several offers from WWE because she was “ready to take on a new challenge.”
“For a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be brought to me a handful of times — I knew that it was rare, and I was getting older,” Catanzaro said, as quoted by USA Today. “I want to be somewhere where I can make the biggest impact I can.”
Given the usual speculation that surrounds departing WWE superstars, WrestlingNews.co stressed that Kacy Catanzaro’s supposed decision to leave the company does not automatically make her a would-be free agent and does not mean she may be headed to rival companies such as All Elite Wrestling. The outlet clarified that Catanzaro will likely be officially retiring from professional wrestling and might not be allowed to leave WWE right away, as there’s a good chance the promotion will freeze her contract while waiting for it to expire.