Shayna Baszler

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Shayna Baszler
Baszler TakeOver NOLA.jpg
Baszler in April 2018
Born
Shayna Andrea Baszler

(1980-08-08) August 8, 1980 (age 39)
Alma materMidAmerica Nazarene University
Ring name(s)Shayna Baszler
Billed height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)[1]
Billed weight136 lb (62 kg)[1]
Billed fromSioux Falls, South Dakota[1]
Trained byJosh Barnett[1]
Mercedes Martinez[2]
WWE Performance Center
Ronda Rousey
Debut2005 [1]
Mixed martial arts career
DivisionBantamweight
Featherweight
Lightweight
StanceOrthodox
Mixed martial arts record
Total26
Wins15
By knockout1
By submission13
By decision1
Losses11
By knockout6
By submission2
By decision3
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Shayna Andrea Baszler (born August 8, 1980) is an American professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist, currently signed to WWE where she performs on the NXT brand. She was signed in 2017 and is the current NXT Women's Champion in her second reign, the first woman to hold it more than once.

Baszler was trained by former UFC fighter Josh Barnett and as a certified catch wrestler by Billy Robinson. She had her first professional fight in 2006 and gained recognition in the following years for the use of her hammerlock submission set-up while on her back; a set-up which she has used to submit several opponents, including Roxanne Modafferi. In an audio interview with Jordan Breen on the Sherdog Radio Network, she dubbed the submission, which she created in training, as the "Shwing." Baszler was signed in 2013 by the UFC to participate as a part of the reality television series The Ultimate Fighter under Ronda Rousey, she also had two professional bouts (0-2) there beside the series. She was granted her release by the UFC in 2015 and started her wrestling career the same year, again trained by Josh Barnett. Baszler has an overall MMA record of 15 wins and 11 losses, with 13 wins by submission.

Martial arts background and persona[edit]

Baszler, a Khun Kru in the Muay Thai boxing association and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt, began incorporating Catch Wrestling into her MMA training. This proved to be somewhat difficult because she could not train with Barnett in Southern California, so Barnett wrote her a syllabus and a video teaching her step-by-step techniques & concepts of catch wrestling and how to improve her verbal skills.[3] Barnett also suggested that Baszler carry an electric guitar to the cage to show that she was outspoken. Baszler reluctantly agreed, and the guitar has become a signature of her rockstar-like persona.

Barnett began calling Baszler "The Queen of Spades" due to her card tricks, which is her nickname today. Her card magic can also be related to submission magic. Baszler refers to her fans as the "Queen's Army."[3]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career (2006–2007)[edit]

Baszler faced Amanda Buckner at MFC: USA vs. Russia 3 on June 3, 2006. She lost the fight by TKO in the third round.[4]

She faced Samantha Anderson at NFF: The Breakout on March 10, 2007. She won the fight by kimura submission in the first round.[5]

Elite XC (2007–2008)[edit]

Baszler in 2007

Baszler debuted for EliteXC at a ShoXC event on July 27, 2007. She submitted veteran Jan Finney with a first-round armbar and repeated the feat three months later against Jennifer Tate. After defeating Keiko Tamai with an impressive Twister submission at a third ShoXC event, Baszler moved up to the main EliteXC cards.

Baszler next faced Cris Cyborg on CBS television at EliteXC: Unfinished Business on July 26, 2008.[6] She lost the fight via TKO in the second round.[7]

Strikeforce (2009–2010)[edit]

Following EliteXC's closure, Baszler debuted for Strikeforce at Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg on June 19, 2009 in a fight against Sarah Kaufman, but lost by Unanimous Decision.[8]

Baszler entered the Freestyle Cage Fighting Women's Bantamweight Grand Prix at FCF 39 on January 30, 2010 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She submitted Megumi Yabushita with a twister submission in the first round of their quarterfinal bout. It was the second time that Baszler had won an MMA fight with the unique submission.[9]

Various promotions (2010–2012)[edit]

Baszler faced late replacement Alexis Davis in the second round of the FCF tournament at FCF 40 on March 27, 2010. She defeated Davis by unanimous decision.[10]

Baszler was scheduled to face Jan Finney in the tournament final at FCF 43 on June 12, 2010.[10] However, Finney withdrew in order to compete in Strikeforce and Baszler faced Adrienna Jenkins instead.[11] Baszler defeated Jenkins by first-round armbar to become FCF Women's Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion.[12]

On November 19, 2010, Baszler faced Elaina Maxwell at The Cage Inc.: Battle At The Border 7. Baszler defeated Maxwell by submission due to a kneebar in the first round to become the first TCI Women's 140 lbs Champion.[13]

Baszler was scheduled to defend her TCI title in a rematch with Alexis Davis at The Cage Inc.: Battle At The Border 10 on July 30, 2011.[14] However, the fight was canceled after Davis signed with Strikeforce.[15]

Baszler agreed to face Kelly Kobold in a rematch at Cage Fighting Xtreme: Spring Brawl on April 21, 2012.[16] However, it was announced on March 16 that the event had been canceled.[17]

Invicta Fighting Championships (2012–2013)[edit]

On April 28, it was announced that Baszler would face Sara McMann in the main event of Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann. The event took place on July 28, 2012.[18] In a back-and-forth affair, Baszler lost the fight in what was considered to be a controversial unanimous decision. The bout was named fight of the night.[19][20]

Baszler faced Sarah D'Alelio at Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama on October 6, 2012.[21] She defeated D'Alelio via submission due to a rear naked choke early in round two.[22]

Baszler faced Alexis Davis in a rematch at Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt on January 5, 2013.[23] She was defeated via technical submission due to a rear naked choke in round three.[24][25] The bout was named fight of the night.[26]

Ultimate Fighting Championship (2013–2015)[edit]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In August 2013, it was announced that Baszler was one of the fighters selected to be on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate.[27] In her fight to get into the TUF house, Baszler faced Colleen Schneider and won via an armbar submission in the first round. Baszler was then selected by Ronda Rousey as the first team pick and the first fight of the season against Julianna Peña. Baszler lost to Peña after tapping out due to a rear naked choke in the second round.[28]

Baszler was expected to face Sarah Kaufman at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale.[29] However, on April 2, 2014, she pulled out of the bout due to an injury.[30]

Early fights and departure[edit]

For her promotional debut, Baszler faced Bethe Correia on August 30, 2014, at UFC 177.[31] She lost the fight via TKO in the second round.

Baszler faced Amanda Nunes on March 21, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 62.[32] She lost the fight via TKO in the first round after taking multiple leg kicks. Baszler was granted her release from the organization to pursue professional wrestling.[33]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Independent circuit (2015–2017)[edit]

On March 1, 2015 at Ring of Honor's 13th Anniversary Show, Baszler accompanied reDRagon to the ring for their ROH World Tag Team Championship defense. After they won, she helped cut a celebratory promo, where they described her addition to the team as "[finding] our Ringo".[34] After training under Josh Barnett, Baszler made her professional wrestling debut on September 26, 2015, losing to Cheerleader Melissa for Quintessential Pro Wrestling (QPG) in Reno, Nevada.[35] Baszler was attacked by Nicole Matthews after the match, setting up a future match between them. On October 30, Baszler defeated Matthews in their first match against each other,[36] but lost in their second meeting, a KO or submission only match in January 2016, won by Matthews via KO in just over 9 minutes.[37] On January 23, 2016, at a Magnum Pro Wrestling event in Omaha, Nebraska, Baszler defeated Heather Patera.[38] On July 17, Baszler defeated Ruby Raze to become the Premier Women's Champion at Premier XIII.[39]

Baszler debuted for Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) in April 2016, losing to Mia Yim.[40] She returned to the promotion in June, defeating Veda Scott.[41] She then returned to the promotion again in August, defeating Annie Social.[42] On September 9, she defeated Heidi Lovelace to become the AIW Women's Champion.[43] She made her first successful defense against Britt Baker on November 5,[44] and again retained the championship against Ray Lyn and Ayzali in a three way match for Rise Wrestling on November 10.[45] She once again retained the championship against Lovelace in a rematch on November 25.[46]

In June 2016, Baszler made her debut for Shimmer Women Athletes at Volume 81,[47] defeating Rhia O'Reilly.[48] She defeated Solo Darling at volume 82,[49] and at volume 83, she unsuccessfully challenged Nicole Savoy for the Heart Of Shimmer Championship.[50] She once again defeated Mia Yim at volume 85.[51] She returned in November, teaming with Mercedes Martinez in a loss to The Aussie Squad (Kellie Skater and Shazza McKenzie) at volume 86.[52] At volume 87, she faced Kay Lee Ray, Heidi Lovelace and Vanessa Kraven in a fatal four way match, won by Kraven.[53] At volume 88, she lost to Shazza McKenzie by disqualification.[54] At volume 89, she once again lost to McKenzie in a no disqualification match.[55] At Volume 90, she once again defeated Heidi Lovelace.[56]

World Wonder Ring Stardom (2015, 2017)[edit]

In October 2015, Baszler worked two events for Japanese promotion World Wonder Ring Stardom, during their American tour in Covina, California,[57] first teaming with Brittany Wonder and Datura in a loss to Oedo Tai (Act Yasukawa, Kris Wolf and Kyoko Kimura),[58] and unsuccessfully challenging Cheerleader Melissa for the GRPW Lady Luck Championship two days later.[59] She returned to the promotion in January 2017, this time touring Japan. She made her debut on January 3, teaming with Mayu Iwatani and Jungle Kyona to defeat Sumie Sakai, Kagetsu and Kyoko Kimura.[60] The following day, she teamed with Nixon Newell and Kay Lee Ray to defeat Iwatani, Kairi Hojo and Konami.[61] The following day, she faced Himomi Mimura and Viper in a triple threat match won by Viper.[62] On January 15, she took part in another triple threat match, this time defeating Momo Watanabe and Jungle Kyona.[63] On January 29, she teamed with Deonna Purrazzo and Christi Jaynes to defeat Kris Wolf, Viper and Kagetsu.[64] On February 23, Baszler unsuccessfully challenged Io Shirai for the World of Stardom Championship.[65]

WWE (2017–present)[edit]

Baszler after winning the NXT Women's Championship in April 2018

On July 13, 2017, Baszler entered WWE's Mae Young Classic, defeating Zeda in the first round.[66] The following day, Baszler defeated Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, and Mercedes Martinez en route to the final.[67] On September 12, Baszler was defeated in the final of the tournament by Kairi Sane.[68]

Baszler made her NXT debut at a house show on August 10, 2017, where she teamed with Billie Kay and Peyton Royce; they faced the team of Kairi Sane, Aliyah, and Dakota Kai in a losing effort.[69] On August 12, she made her singles debut, defeating Zeda.[70] On October 3, WWE officially announced that Baszler had signed with the company and started training at the WWE Performance Center.[71] On the December 6 episode of NXT, a vignette aired teasing Baszler's televised debut.[72] She made her televised debut by attacking Kairi Sane on December 27, and her televised in-ring debut on the episode aired January 10, 2018, defeating Dakota Kai by referee stoppage. Afterward, Baszler continued to attack Kai until NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon made the save. That led to a title match at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia on January 27, where Moon defeated Baszler to retain the title, but was attacked by Baszler afterwards. Baszler received another title match against Moon at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans on April 7, where Baszler defeated Moon by technical submission to win the title.[73] On the May 30 episode of NXT, Baszler successfully defended her title against Dakota Kai. She then began a feud with Nikki Cross, culminating in a match at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II, where Baszler defeated Cross by technical submission to retain the title. Baszler then lost the title to Kairi Sane at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, ending her reign at 133 days. At Evolution, she defeated Sane in a rematch, becoming the first-ever two-time NXT Women's Champion. Baszler went on to successfully defend her title against Sane at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, Bianca Belair at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix and in a fatal four-way against Sane, Belair and Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver: New York, submitting Belair with a Kirifuda Clutch. Baszler would then feud with Shirai, retaining her title against Shirai at NXT TakeOver: XXV and on the June 26 episode of NXT in a steel cage match to end the feud. At NXT TakeOver: Toronto, she defeated Mia Yim to retain her title. On the October 2 episode of NXT, Baszler retained her title against Candice LeRae. On the November 1 episode of SmackDown, Baszler was the first NXT wrestler to invade the show, when she attacked SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley, Sasha Banks and Nikki Cross. Later that night, Baszler joined Triple H and the rest of the NXT roster as they declared war on both Raw and SmackDown, and vowed to win the Survivor Series brand warfare.[74][75]

Other media[edit]

Baszler made her WWE video game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K19.[76]

Personal life[edit]

Baszler was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the daughter of Skip and Margaret Baszler. Her father is of German descent, while her mother is of Chinese descent. Baszler majored in religion at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas before beginning her mixed martial arts training. In October 2013, during an MMA roasted podcast, Baszler announced that she's openly bisexual.[77]

Baszler was a key spokesperson in the movement to create a South Dakota athletic commission for combat sports. She once delivered a speech that touched opposing Rep. Steve Hickey, who once labeled MMA as the "child porn" of sports. After visiting Baszler at the Next Edge Academy of Martial Arts, the training place of Baszler, as well as other mixed martial arts fighters and practitioners, Hickey stated he regretted his analogy as it detracted from his point which, for him, remained true.

Baszler is also a coach for the South Dakota-based roller derby team, the Sioux Falls Roller Dollz. She is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).[3]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Baszler is the only two-time NXT Women's Champion

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • Freestyle Cage Fighting
    • FCF Women's Bantamweight Grand Prix Championship (1 time)
  • Invicta FC
  • The Cage Inc.
    • TCI Women's 140 lbs Championship (1 time, first)

Professional wrestling[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
26 matches 15 wins 11 losses
By knockout 1 6
By submission 13 2
By decision 1 3
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 15–11 Reina Miura Decision (unanimous) Deep Jewels 15 February 25, 2017 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Lightweight bout.
Loss 15–10 Amanda Nunes TKO (leg kick) UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare March 21, 2015 1 1:56 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Loss 15–9 Bethe Correia TKO (punches) UFC 177 August 30, 2014 2 1:56 Sacramento, California, United States
Loss 15–8 Alexis Davis Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Invicta FC 4: Esparza vs. Hyatt January 5, 2013 3 0:58 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Fight of the Night
Win 15–7 Sarah D'Alelio Submission (rear-naked choke) Invicta FC 3: Penne vs. Sugiyama October 6, 2012 2 0:37 Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Loss 14–7 Sara McMann Decision (unanimous) Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann July 28, 2012 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Fight of the Night
Win 14–6 Elaina Maxwell Submission (kneebar) The Cage Inc.: Battle At The Border 7 November 19, 2010 1 4:03 Hankinson, North Dakota, United States Became First TCI Women's 140 lbs Champion
Win 13–6 Adrienna Jenkins Submission (armbar) Freestyle Cage Fighting 43 June 12, 2010 1 2:12 Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States Became FCF Women's Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion
Win 12–6 Alexis Davis Decision (unanimous) Freestyle Cage Fighting 40 March 27, 2010 3 5:00 Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States
Win 11–6 Megumi Yabushita Submission (twister) Freestyle Cage Fighting 39 January 30, 2010 1 4:50 Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 10–6 Sarah Kaufman Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg June 19, 2009 3 5:00 Kent, Washington, United States
Loss 10–5 Cris Cyborg TKO (punches) EliteXC: Unfinished Business July 26, 2008 2 2:48 Stockton, California, United States
Win 10–4 Keiko Tamai Submission (twister) ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series April 5, 2008 1 2:05 Friant, California, United States
Win 9–4 Jennifer Tate Submission (armbar) ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series October 26, 2007 1 0:44 Santa Ynez, California, United States
Win 8–4 Jan Finney Submission (armbar) ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series July 27, 2007 1 2:40 Santa Ynez, California, United States
Win 7–4 Samantha Anderson Submission (kimura) NFF: The Breakout March 10, 2007 1 1:00 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Loss 6–4 Tara LaRosa TKO (punches) BodogFight: Costa Rica February 18, 2007 2 3:15 Costa Rica
Win 6–3 Roxanne Modafferi Submission (hammerlock) MARS: BodogFight October 4, 2006 1 1:08 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 5–3 Amanda Buckner TKO (punches) MFC: USA vs Russia 3 June 3, 2006 3 3:03 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 5–2 Julie Kedzie Submission (armbar) Freestyle Combat Challenge 22 March 18, 2006 1 N/A Racine, Wisconsin, United States
Loss 4–2 Amanda Buckner Submission (armbar) Ring of Fire 20: Elite December 10, 2005 1 4:28 Castle Rock, Colorado, United States
Win 4–1 Cindy Romero Submission (punches) UCS: Battle At The Barn 9 May 7, 2005 1 N/A Rochester, Minnesota, United States
Win 3–1 Heather Lobs Submission (choke) Jungle Madness 2 January 15, 2005 1 1:51 Minnesota, United States
Loss 2–1 Kelly Kobold Submission (punches) Reality Cage Fighting May 15, 2004 2 2:20 South Dakota, United States
Win 2–0 Christy Zimmerman Submission (armbar) Reality Cage Fighting November 14, 2003 1 N/A South Dakota, United States
Win 1–0 Tina Johnson Submission (armbar) Reality Cage Fighting October 31, 2003 1 1:20 South Dakota, United States
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 1–1 Julianna Peña Submission (rear naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate September 11, 2013 (air date) 2 3:08 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States TUF 18 Quarter Final round.
Win 1–0 Colleen Schneider Submission (armbar) September 4, 2013 (air date) 1 4:24 TUF 18 elimination round.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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