Mercedes Mone Watch is alive and well in 2024. The professional wrestling world has its eyes glued to television screens and news reports to see where the famed star will turn up next. Mone deserves every bit of the adulation as well. Fightful Select revealed that she and WWE are no longer in talks, which has continued speculation on where she will next compete. If WWE is truly off the table, fans will take to the internet to express their disdain or celebration that she’s not with the largest organization in the industry. However, there should also be a conversation about how WWE can thrive without one of the biggest stars in the industry on their roster.
Rumors are that Mone and the WWE were apart when it came to contract deals including money. This has increased speculation about what Mone requested within the contract, but those details are fully unknown. Charlotte Flair recently re-signed with the WWE in what is described as a “big money” deal, leaving fans to argue about WWE’s treatment and perception of Mone compared to her peers. While those are justifiable arguments to have, it doesn’t answer how WWE can move forward without Mone on the bill.
Yes, Mone is one of the biggest names in wrestling. Look at what she did as a ratings draw within the WWE, and what her presence did for viewership for New Japan. Mone is a draw and that has become an undeniable fact. If she shows up in AEW, fans can expect a ratings bump once again, adding another measurable accolade to her folder. But if WWE isn’t willing to commit to her requirements, then the company will have to find a way to respond with the roster they currently have in place.
WWE has a strong mix of both veteran players and youthful prospects. Individuals like Flair, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Asuka, IYO Sky, Kairi Sane, and others are functionally perfectly as the pillars of this group. Then factor in the group that includes names like Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Zoey Stark, Chelsea Green, Piper Niven, and Shayna Baszler. And don’t forget about the youth movement going on in the WWE women’s division led by Rhea Ripley and including names like Lyra Valkyria, Roxanne Perez, Cora Jade, Kiana James, Kelani Jordan, and Amari Miller. Then there are individuals like Jade Cargill, Lash Legend, and Jakara Jackson whom wrestling fans are watching closely to see what they do and achieve in WWE. And don’t forget about Trish Stratus still waiting in the wings.
There’s a wealth of talent on the WWE roster, and the promotion must strategically leverage the group to build the stars of today and tomorrow. That means creating meaningful stories and opportunities for these ladies to find success. Especially the women of color on the roster. Mone represents an important group of viewers and fans in professional wrestling, a group that cannot and will not be ignored.
Think back to when AEW fired CM Punk. Many wondered what would happen with AEW Collision, a show that was built entirely around him. There were fears that the show would suffer and find itself without any clear value or direction like AEW Rampage. What happened is that AEW leveraged a new acquisition in Adam Copeland, and key pieces on the board like Christian Cage, Eddie Kingston, and Bryan Danielson to continue to build interest in that show. Now, thanks to a shift in focus, the show’s ratings are strong and building momentum heading into 2024.
If Mercedes Mone signs with AEW as many suspect, WWE is not “doomed” as internet trolls will proclaim. Sports and entertainment organizations lose key performers to competitors and due to contract negotiations, every year. Those groups still find a way to find success. When it comes to women’s wrestling WWE will have to leverage a roster that is stacked with talent. While a big piece will be off the board, creative and the performers remaining have the talent to raise the tide for all boats to succeed.