After weeks of rumors, the former Sasha Banks made her debut at Wrestle Kingdom. NJPW had its first-ever women’s match at its most prestigious event when KAIRI defended her IWGP Women’s Champion against Tam Nakano.
While KAIRI celebrated a successful title defense, Mercedes Mone stole her spotlight. She took KAIRI down before challenging her for “Battle in the Valley” in San Jose on February 18. Mone said that she will be wrestling for both NJPW and STARDOM.
This was Mone’s first appearance in a wrestling ring since she and Naomi left WWE last May. She said she wouldn’t take any dates until January 1, 2023.
Wrestlers react to Mercedes Mone
Her best friend, Bayley, tweeted after Mone’s debut. Bayley and Naomi are in Japan to support their friend.
Naomi retweeted the official NJPW account.
WWE’s Tamina tweeted an emoji that encapsulates what many fans feel seeing Mone betting on herself.
Mone is heavily rumored to be Saraya’s mystery tag partner on AEW Dynamite next Wednesday. Saraya and her partner will face Britt Baker, DMD, and Jamie Hayter.
Prior to the event, AEW’s Ricky Starks tweeted
Daniel Garcia replied to Mone’s tweet thanking WWE with a simple goat emoji.
As of this writing, none of the AEW women have tweeted about Mone’s NJPW debut. Perhaps they will in the coming days or once Saraya’s mystery partner is revealed.
Regardless of whether or not Mone goes to AEW, she has put the wrestling world on notice. She told KAIRI that she is “the standard. The conversation. The blueprint and the CEO of this women’s division.” There are plenty of dream matches for Mone that she’s free to wrestle now. Now more than ever, Mone seems to be on the verge of something huge in women’s wrestling.