The chatter has been floating around for some time, but it’s now confirmed: Kacy Catanzaro is retiring from American Ninja Warrior and stepping into the ring. She’s officially signed with the WWE and announced she will not be returning for future seasons of American Ninja Warrior.
Back in the beginning of 2017, Kacy was spotted at a WWE training session, sparking rumors that she was being vetted for a contract. Then, during episode two of the WWE’s Mae Young Classic, it was quietly announced that she had, indeed, been signed.
During the Denver City Finals of American Ninja Warrior, it was also shared that Kacy would be leaving the show after this season, confirming the additional detail that not only is Kacy going to the WWE, but she’s putting a period on her American Ninja Warrior career.
This is new territory for Ninja Warrior. Sure, competitors in the past have not returned, but never has there been an official announcement. Isaac Calidero dropped off the radar after his one million dollar win of American Ninja Warrior in season seven, but his reasons for moving on were never addressed by the show.
In the past years, Kacy has become an icon of the show. Her accomplishments in 2014 arguably helped propel the show to a new level of popularity. She was the first woman to complete the Warped Wall and the first woman to complete a City Finals course. The notoriety transitioned into endorsement deals and legions of fans for Kacy.
Since those infamous runs and the accompanying stardom, Kacy’s American Ninja Warrior performances cooled significantly. In season eight, she was unable to advance past the Qualifying round. The athlete has openly discussed how the pressure affected her.
In season nine of American Ninja Warrior, Kacy competed in the San Antonio region. A new rule for female competitors meant she advanced from the Qualifiers to the City Finals, and then on to the National Finals. By all accounts, this has been a strong season for her.
Now, it appears she plans to go out on a high note.
It’s undeniable that Kacy’s effect on American Ninja Warrior will echo on for some time. New stars, like Barclay Stockett, have shared that they started training after seeing Kacy’s runs. Many fans cite Kacy’s videos on Youtube and Facebook as the reason they started tuning into the show.
Women were competing on American Ninja Warrior before Kacy, and many have risen to stardom since, but Kacy was one of the first breakout stars who’s name became synonymous with the show. The affiliation between the two will never be severed or forgotten.
While we have yet to see Kacy’s Stage One run at the American Ninja Warrior National Finals, it’s a safe bet that we’ll very soon be watching her last run, officially closing an era of the show. It will be fascinating to watch her transition into the world of wrestling.