Mercedes Moné formerly known as Sasha Banks in WWE has made her debut in NJPW.
It finally happened and I am just as surprised as you are. In 2022 the wrestling world had two big questions. When will Bray Wyatt and Sasha Banks return to wrestling and where will they wrestle? The Wyatt question was answered and a few days into 2023 the second part was answered as well.
After rumors had been circulating for the past few months which stated Moné had been negotiating with WWE and AEW. These rumors eventually stated she would be at Wrestle Kingdom 17. It was still hard to believe it would actually happen until we actually saw her walking down the entrance ramp.
After KAIRI’s successful defense of her IWGP Women’s Championship against Tam Nakano a video package and music began to play. As soon as it hit everyone knew who it had to be, but it was confirmed once Moné’s face was uncovered.
The New Boss Of NJPW And Stardom Says Hello
Moné made her way to the ring and stared down KAIRI before offering her hand for a handshake. However, apparently KAIRI knows nothing about Moné because she was immediately hit with I guess Moné’s new overly complicated finisher.
Moné goes on to introduce herself as the standard every woman on the roster must now hold themselves to. She also made her intentions known and her intentions are to take KAIRI’s IWGP Women’s Championship off her at NJPW Battle in the Valley on Feb. 18.
Long Time No See
This is the first Moné has been seen in a wrestling ring since the big walkout from WWE in May 2022. Banks at the time and her tag team partner Naomi were the WWE women’s tag team champions. They were very unhappy with their booking and decided to walk out on the company. Many wondered if it was a work or if it was real. With Moné’s NJPW debut it turns out it was real.
Naomi is still nowhere to be seen though. Everyone believes she will return to WWE because she is married to Jimmy Uso. Bayley and Naomi were at the NJPW show with Moné which led to speculation Naomi may also debut, but that didn’t happen or at least not yet.
First She Must Conquer Stardom
Moné will be a part of NJPW’s sister company Stardom which focuses on women’s wrestling. Stardom is full of killers and some familiar faces to Moné and WWE fans. KAIRI formerly Kairi Sane in WWE and Xia Brookside are two women Moné will have to contend with. Some of the best women’s wrestlers in the world have passed through Stardom including Jamie Hayter, Nikki Cross, Mia Yim and Io Shirai now known as IYO SKY.
Even though Moné has debuted in NJPW/Stardom it is widely believed her time there will be short. The belief is she will transition to AEW and her deal is with AEW. AEW and NJPW have a working relationship and her debut was to familiarize Moné to the Japanese audience at NJPW’s biggest event of the year.
The Biggest Challenges Of Her Career May Be Her Opponents In AEW
Once Moné makes her way to AEW she will face very stiff competition including former friends, rivals and new tough challengers. Some of these big names include another big name who made her big return a few months ago. Saraya who went by Paige in WWE returned a few months ago and fans have been eager to see these two face off. To make this possible feud even more exciting is the fact Saraya suffered a severe neck injury which kept her out of the ring for years in a WWE match against Moné.
Moné will also have to face off against Britt Baker, Athena formerly Ember Moon, Ruby Soho formerly Ruby Riott, Toni Storm and the dream matchup of Moné and Jade Cargill.
What did you think of Moné’s debut? Do you think she will stay in NJPW/Stardom? Do you think she will beat KAIRI? Is she better or worse off outside WWE with Triple H taking over? Who in Stardom do you want to see her face? Leave a comment and let us know if you want to see Moné face off with Cargill or Saraya first in AEW.
Source: Wrestling Inc.