‘Mighty Kacy’ Catanzaro goes from ‘Ninja’ to ‘WWE Superstar’
September 1, 2017 - WWE
Back when Kacy Catanzaro became a initial lady to finish a city finals march on American Ninja Warrior, associate ninjas would tell her she did a good job, “for a girl.”
“That matter is not excusable for me,” says a 27-year-old athlete, famous by fans as ‘Mighty Kacy.’ Fortunately, this year a obscure enrich “is not a thing anymore,” she says. And that’s a bequest she can be unapproachable of.
Catanzaro is retiring from Ninja, after she competes in a show’s Vegas finals Sept. 11 (the season finale front Sept. 18). But she has another career pierce in mind, and it also involves behaving underneath splendid lights and conference chants of “Kacy! Kacy!”
She’s fasten World Wrestling Entertainment.
“I’m prepared to take on a new challenge,” Catanzaro, who watched wrestling as a kid, told USA TODAY in an disdainful interview, after she finally supposed her umpteenth offer to spin a WWE superstar. “For a once-in-a-lifetime event to be brought to me a handful of times — we knew that it was rare, and we was removing older. we wish to be somewhere where we can make a biggest impact we can.”
A few years ago, that place was many positively ANW. It was on a obstacle-course competition, blending from a Japanese format, that Catanzaro desirous what producers impute to as a “Kacy Effect” — an liquid of womanlike athletes meddlesome in a sport.
“(Women’s) altogether submissions jumped tenfold altogether after Kacy’s deteriorate 6,” says executive writer Arthur Smith. “As a initial lady to conquer a Warped Wall, she valid that anything was probable while paving a approach for a prevalence we see from a womanlike ninjas today.”
That prevalence also brought womanlike eyeballs: Ninja viewership went from mostly masculine in 2012 to 55% female, a tip commission of women viewers.
“I feel like I’ve done my history, I’ve done my friends (and) I’ve helped a subsequent era of girls be prepared to take over, and they’re flitting me!” she says, citing competitors including Barclay Stockett (a good crony who was desirous by Catanzaro’s 2014 video to spin a ninja), Jessie Graff (the initial lady to finish a Stage 2 course) and Allyssa Beird.
Beird says she competence have been desirous to try out for a uncover by Catanzaro. “Subconsciously, we thought, ‘she was a gymnast, we was a gymnast, she’s doing these cold things (and) we wish to do that.”
Meanwhile, a lady famous for being a initial to improved a 14-foot Wall didn’t make it up this season’s taller chronicle (“I was devastated… it sucked,” Catanzaro recalls), though she’s ready to pierce on.
Come January, she’s relocating from San Antonio to a WWE training trickery in Orlando to learn locks, drops, knee strikes and other stage-combat techniques.
That begs a question: Will a energetic, bright-eyed, all-American Catanzaro, who’s customarily seen smiling, spin a extreme heel in a ring?
“I’m not gonna be a bad guy,” she assures. “I’m really gonna be a babyface (and) keep a same (positive) code that we am in Ninja, that is overtly who we am in general,” she says.
And no, she doesn’t see her tallness as a disadvantage.
If anything, being brief “makes her an underdog,” says WWE’s executive VP of talent Paul Levesque, better famous as 14-time WWE heavyweight champion Triple H. Much like WWE’s Alexa “5 Feet of Fury” Bliss, Catanzaro’s support will make her “relatable” to womanlike viewers, he says.
As for when that assembly will see her perform, that could take anywhere from a integrate months to a few years, since Catanzaro needs to learn reserve measures, use with partners and rise her on-camera persona.
Already, she has a burst start on a earthy stuff: On a second day of auditions, Levesque saw Catanzaro land 10 “moonsaults,” differently famous as back flips off of a tip rope.
It’s an considerable feat, “even only from a gallantry standpoint,” he says. “I see her apropos an aerial specialist.”
Something else Levesque predicts for Catanzaro? Despite her initial protests, she could spin bad.
“I like to consider of myself as a good guy, (but) we done 90 percent of my career being a misfortune man in a business,” he says. As for Catanzaro, “she competence finish adult being a bad man that thinks she’s improved than everybody else, since she was a favourite on American Ninja Warrior.
“She has a small wink in her eye,” he adds. “She competence be a kind of chairman that embraces a immorality side.”