Kaitlyn Calls Mae Young Classic Her 'Redemption' Post 2014 WWE Departure

Celeste Bonin, WWE's Kaitlyn, opens up about her career journey.

by Noman Rasool
Kaitlyn Calls Mae Young Classic Her 'Redemption' Post 2014 WWE Departure

Throughout the early 2010s, Kaitlyn - born Celeste Bonin - established herself as a formidable force within the WWE women's division. Climbing the ranks, she rose to prominence and held the coveted Divas Championship in early 2013, maintaining her reign for over 100 days.

Yet, her time in the spotlight appeared ephemeral. After her championship tenure, she tumbled down the card and abruptly departed from the WWE in early 2014. In an interview with Muscle Memory, Bonin revealed the circumstances that led to her leaving WWE, her time away from the sport, and her eventual return to the ring in the 2018 Mae Young Classic.

"I saw it as an opportunity for redemption," she shared, speaking about her brief yet significant return to the WWE.

Kaitlyn's Journey Back to Wrestling

Bonin's exit from WWE in 2014 marked a four-year hiatus from wrestling.

"During that time, wrestling wasn't part of my life. It wasn't until 2018 that I decided to dust off my boots and return to the ring at a local school in South Florida," she elaborated. This decision led to a fortuitous invitation from Canyon Ceman, then-Vice President of Talent Development, to train at the WWE Performance Center for the Mae Young Classic.

Reflecting on her previous tenure with WWE, Bonin expressed dissatisfaction with her final match and how her departure transpired. "It was a bitter ending. I wasn't happy with my last performance, and how I left felt incomplete." The Mae Young Classic was her chance to reestablish her wrestling persona.

"I viewed it as a platform to introduce a different version of myself, one that I painstakingly rebuilt over the years away from the wrestling arena," she said. After participating in the Mae Young Classic, where she made it to the second round, WWE extended a full-time contract offer to her.

However, Bonin decided against accepting it. She explained, "Although the offer was tempting, it wasn't in alignment with my other business commitments. Relocating to Orlando wasn't feasible, and the timing didn't feel right." Despite declining the offer, her brief return to WWE and the Mae Young Classic marked a significant milestone in Bonin's wrestling career.