The wrestling world was abuzz with excitement as former WWE Raw Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks, now going by the name Mercedes Moné, made her debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) at Wrestle Kingdom 17, which took place at the iconic Tokyo Dome on Wednesday, January 4th.
Mercedes Moné’s debut came after Kari’s successful defense of the IWGP Women’s Championship against Tam Nakano. As the match concluded, the lights dimmed, and a video played, showcasing Mercedes dancing before she made her entrance in front of the electrified crowd. She then went face-to-face with Kari in the ring and laid her out, making a bold statement in her NJPW debut. Taking the microphone, Mercedes introduced herself and expressed her desire to make history in NJPW and Stardom.
In her first official match with NJPW, Mercedes Moné emerged victorious, defeating KAIRI to become the new IWGP Women’s Champion. The excitement continued for her at Sakura Genesis on April 8th, where she successfully retained her championship by defeating both AZM and Hazuki. However, her next challenge looms large as she is set to defend her title against Mayu Iwatani at Stardom All Star Grand Queendom on April 23rd, in what will be her last match on her current NJPW contract.
However, the future of Mercedes Moné with NJPW hangs in the balance as negotiations are underway for one more match to be added to her contract. Dave Meltzer revealed during the latest Wrestling Observer Radio that the deal is not yet finalized, but discussions are ongoing:
“They are in negotiations for one more match. Her final match of her current contract is the match this coming Sunday at the Yokohama Arena against Mayu (Iwatani) for the IWGP Women’s title. I do not know if the deal is done, it was not done the last I was told but she is in talks for one more date. I don’t know what that date would be, I don’t know if it would be Dominion or what exactly. That’s where her situation is right now.”
Mercedes Moné’s potential extended stay with NJPW has fans and wrestling enthusiasts eagerly anticipating her next move. Her impressive performances and the impact she has made in a short time have further cemented her reputation as a formidable force in the wrestling world. As negotiations continue, fans will be eagerly watching to see what the future holds for Mercedes Moné in NJPW and beyond.