When Mercedes Moné made her debut in NJPW back in January, it was a moment that promised something truly extraordinary. The anticipation leading up to her appearance at Wrestle Kingdom 17 was noticeable, with fans eagerly tuning in not even to watch her wrestle, but simply to witness her presence. She brought a level of excitement and intrigue while testing free agency, igniting goosebumps among wrestling enthusiasts knowing she was about to put on instant classics outside of the WWE.
Her arrival in NJPW introduce the new CEO persona, complete with a fiery flame wig that apparently ‘gagged’ Sasha Banks fans around the globe. The historic moment saw one of WWE’s biggest stars stepping onto Japanese soil for the very first time. The lead up felt very reminiscent to the buzz generated by Cody Rhodes when he was released in 2016.
Moné not only fulfilled a lifelong dream by wrestling in NJPW, she brought an influx of attention to Japanese wrestling, reinvigorating the independent scene while taking control of her career. Her absence from the wrestling world is keenly felt whenever she’s not in the ring, a testament to the impact she has made on the industry. So knowing her return is near brings excitement when you consider the landscape she is returning to.
Who & What’s Next?
Mercedes Moné’s transition from WWE to NJPW marked a significant moment in the world of professional wrestling. In the modern era, she stands out as one of the most prominent stars to depart from WWE and venture into new territory. Whether she continues her run with NJPW, eventually signs with AEW, or decides to go back to the WWE, her return has to be big. It also has to make dollars, and sense (bars).
Below are five names that would make sense for Mercedes’ return:
Now this one is a long shot, but Charlotte did recently plant a seed for it to happen. When asked about a potential WrestleMania 40 match, she named Mercedes as a potential opponent. We’re still a ways away from WrestleMania, but depending on when she can return, this could very well happen. Especially with HHH now in charge. It would certainly be a WrestleMania moment, and would open The Forbidden Door in WWE.
Prior to getting injured, it seemed like Mercedes was on track to eventually face one of Japan’s best in Giulia. The matchup had potential to main event at the Tokyo Dome and become a Match of the Year candidate. With both women in their prime, wrestling fans would be robbed of this epic matchup if it never happened. Since Mercedes was supposed to be the inaugural NJPW Strong Women’s Champion, she might as well come back and face the current one. She just happens to be the biggest name in Japan for Mercedes…
The story for an eventual clash between Mercedes and Saraya pretty much writes itself. Saraya’s last match prior to her forced retirement included Moné. Now that she holds the title, a big name should take it from her. Knowing Mercedes gives everyone their best matches, the two would put on an instant classic that’ll elevate the title and AEW’s women’s division. Whether Mercedes signs with AEW full time or not, this match is inevitable on her indie run.
This one is a no-brainer. Mercedes was unfortunately injured during her match with Willow Nightingale. It was for the inaugural NJPW Strong Women’s Championship which saw Moné barely able to stand on two feet. The injury allowed Willow to capture her first major title and solidify her name amongst a stacked women’s division in AEW and the Japanese scene. If Mercedes signs to AEW, this matchup awaits her. It would make too much sense on her run towards becoming the AEW Women’s Championship.
It’s obvious that a match between Mercedes & Trinity would be a banger. But it would have to make sense… Due to how they left WWE, instead of facing each other, the two have to reunite as a tag team on the independent scene. Having that moment outside of WWE would be special to see, and seems inevitable at this point. It just depends on where and when, since Trinity is over in IMPACT and Mercedes is currently signed to NJPW.
Her Success is Important
Haters will underestimate the importance of Mercedes’ return. But the world knows how big it is for a woman to make this kind of noise post-WWE. For a black woman to be making headlines all over the world and remain a trending topic for weeks on weeks. She’s very much the conversation and her run will open up doors for women to thrive outside of the U.S. wrestling scene. Mercedes is many words, but the most fitting is undeniable. She has no choice but to succeed.
Whether she rekindles old rivalries, vies for championships, engages in dream matches, or surprises us with something entirely unexpected, one thing is for sure – Mercedes’ return will leave an indelible mark on the world of women’s wrestling, and fans are eager to see what the future holds for the wrestling icon when she returns to the squared circle.
Check out Mercedes on Instagram Live recently teasing many things are coming soon:
Where do you want to see Mercedes go next? Let us know in the comments below.