It has been reported that Mercedes Moné will work two matches for New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Stardom in April. As per Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), the former WWE superstar’s first NJPW match in Japan is at Sakura Genesis, set to take place at Ryōgoku Kokugikan, or Sumo Hall, in Tokyo on April 8.
Moné will then reportedly work the Stardom All-Star Grand Queendom show at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, on April 23. This show is also Stardom’s debut at the arena.
IT’S MERCEDES MONÉ!@mercedesvarnado is in the Tokyo Dome!!!#wk17 #njpw pic.twitter.com/PD54lqLr1L
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) January 4, 2023
The former Sasha Banks debuted for NJPW at Wrestle Kingdom 17 earlier this month. Calling herself “The CEO,” she came out after IWGP women’s champion Kairi’s successful title defense against Tam Nakano. Mercedes laid out her former WWE colleague before challenging her to a title match at NJPW Battle in the Valley in San Jose, California, on February 18.
This bout will mark Moné’s in-ring debut for NJPW. It will also be her first bout since walking out of WWE in May last year. The above news also means that since Moné’s two matches in Japan are scheduled for April, and with WrestleMania 39 slated for April 1 and 2, it is unlikely she will be back any time soon with WWE.
One thing for sure is that as one of the most recognizable female wrestlers in the world, the five-time Raw women’s champion, one-time SmackDown women’s champion, and one-time NXT women’s champion’s mere presence has increased interest in the upcoming New Japan and Stardom events.