What happens when a person is fed up? Sometimes they exact the patience to work through the issue. Or in the most extreme of circumstances, they leave the situation to move on to something better. That seemed to be the case for Mercedes Mone and Trinity.
Almost two years ago, these talented women found themselves at a crossroads in their careers. Stay where they were not being valued or take a leap of faith into something more. They chose the leap of faith. After multiple appearances on red carpets, fashion runways, photo shoots, and movie premieres, Mone and Fatu set their sights on wrestling domination in their chosen promotions: New Japan Pro Wrestling/STARDOM and TNA Wrestling.
They struck gold by winning championships and supporting each other along the way. As their stars rose, so did the exposure of sports entertainment in its Renaissance era. Now that 2024 has kicked off, Mercedes and Trinity are being touted as the hottest free agents. Every time a rumor is reported on them, wrestling fans speculate where they could show up. Is Mone going to All Elite Wrestling? Will Trinity return at the Royal Rumble in two weeks? It is historic to watch two Black women rule a conversation that has isolated and silenced them in the past and at times, even now. It is worth exploring how their choice has led to them being the center of attention and what it teaches Black women in wrestling about knowing their worth.
The Evolution of Their Athletic Prowess
Trinity and Mercedes were always gifted wrestlers. But after their walkout, they did not rest on the laurels of their past successes. They would post videos of them training in gyms across the United States, Mexico, and Japan. All of that work would pay off in their title matches at TNA's Slammiversary and New Japan's Battle in the Valley.
Through Trinity's hard work, she was able to adapt her in-ring style to one of the best technical women's wrestlers, defeat Deonna Purrazzo, and win the TNA Knockouts Championship. Mercedes Mone applied her sharpened Lucha libre knowledge to her match against Kairi Sane and captured the IWGP Women's title with a new finisher called the Mone Maker. Now that their free agency has been made public, there are so many possibilities as to who they could face. Could Trinity challenge Rhea Ripley for the Women's World Championship? Would Mercedes go one-on-one with Hikaru Shida or Iyo Sky? Their arsenal allows them to face anyone and guarantee a must-see match.
Their Crossover Appeal
Another great quality that Trinity and Mercedes possess is the ability to inspire in and out of the ring. One only has to look to Mercedes's rise in television and movies to see her crossover appeal. Mone was featured in the hype introduction to the 2022 College Football National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs. She then went on to star in the Disney+ Star Wars original series The Mandalorian as Koska Reeves. With this type of exposure, she introduced wrestling fans to a galaxy far, far away and gave football fanatics a peek into the allure she brought to WWE at the time.
In the case of Trinity, her 2020 comeback at the Royal Rumble with her natural hair broke social media. There were Black women online who were expressing joy and interest in wrestling from seeing Fatu reflect them in an authentic way. Though Trinity did not win the Rumble that year, she gained new fans and exposure to publications such as Essence Magazine whose content has historically centered on Black women for decades. Their value as multi-talented entertainers will bring old and new eyes to wherever they choose to continue their wrestling careers. Trinity and Mercedes's presence is power.
Their Leap of Faith Teaches Black Women in Wrestling to Know Their Worth and Add Tax
The stories of Black women in wrestling have been filled with highs and lows. For every step forward, there are at least ten steps back. With every first that is highlighted, there seems to be a hidden figure that is dealt a painful blow. Though wrestling fans come from various backgrounds and cultures, the number of Black women in places of prominence in sports entertainment is little to none.
Trinity and Mercedes made history multiple times over for the place they worked and yet were not respected enough to be heard. Once that happened, they did not take it on the chin and continued to suppress their pain. They took a risk, trusted themselves, and left a table where love was no longer being served.
In the years since that choice was made, Trinity and Mercedes have proven that the magic lives in them and was not handed to them by a machine. Their success speaks to the power, perseverance and passion that Black women have had for wrestling for years. Their unapologetic excellence teaches and inspires stars such as Kelani Jordan, Maya World, Willow Nightingale, Lash Legend, and countless others to believe in what they have to offer this business. They will not have to feel shy about asking for more or standing up for what they believe. They will know to trust their minds when the world tries to tell them otherwise. This is their legacy, no matter where they sign this year. Because Mercedes and Trinity bet on themselves, the wrestling world is in the hands of Black women. And honestly, it's about time.