Kavita Devi became the first Indian woman to sign up for the WWE last year. But a lot has changed since then for the 32-year-old from Haryana, who underwent training to become a professional wrestler under the guidance of ‘The Great Khali’ at his training academy in Punjab. Last year, Devi scripted history when she became the first Indian women to step into the WWE ring in her debut at the inaugural Mae Young Classic. In 2018, she also competed on WWE’s biggest stage during the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania in New Orleans. Now, come 2019, Devi is ready to make the big leap and become the first champion from India.
“Ever since I joined the WWE’s Performance Center it has a been a big learning curve. From taking part in the Mae Young Classic to meeting other athletes from around the world, it has helped me evolve as a person and an athlete at the same time. Things are definitely looking up and this year has been a step forward,” Devi said in an exclusive interview.
However, the road to the top has been fraught with several obstacles and overcoming the language barrier is something that the mother of two had to deal with from the start. “At the start when I went to USA it was a big problem. For example, if I had to buy a thing from the grocery store I would hesitate to talk, thinking what to say. But later on, I started taking English classes and slowly got acclimatized to the surroundings and picked up the language. I was afraid that I would speak wrong English and felt shy. But those around me gave me confidence and encouraged me to keep trying.”
So come 2019, Devi is all set to take her game to the next level. “I firmly believe that 2019 could be the year that I fulfill my dream and become the first female champion from India. I train hard to win and I give my 100 percent every day to practice and that day is not far,” she said.
When asked which female superstar would she love to fight from the main roster, she was quick to choose WWE RAW women’s champion Ronda Rousey. “Because she is a strong athlete and taking the fight to her is a challenge I am looking forward to,” Devi explained.
Devi’s rise to the top has also been an inspiration for women across the country who are dreaming of making it big in this sport. Acknowledging the fact, Devi said, “I’m aware that a lot of women have been inspired by me. Earlier they used to think WWE is not meant for them due to a variety of reasons. But now seeing me fight in a suit-salwar they won’t hesitate to take it up. Now they don’t have to worry about costumes and road ahead is clear for them and could be the door to success.” “For those wondering how to become a WWE wrestler, the tryout is an answer to that,” she added.
WWE will visit India in search of the next generation of WWE Superstars by conducting the first-ever talent tryout in Mumbai in March 2019. The four-day tryout will give an opportunity to female athletes, sportswomen and fitness enthusiasts in India have an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become part of WWE. 40 athletes from India will get the opportunity to showcase their abilities with the goal of being selected to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.