“It Feels So Great To Be Excited About Wrestling Again” – Mercedes Mone Reflects On NJPW Debut

Mercedes Mone

Mercedes Mone made waves when she and her tag team partner Naomi walked out of Monday Night Raw back in May. The former Sasha Banks made numerous public appearances in the following months at events such as New York Fashion Week, but she stayed quiet as far as any potential return to professional wrestling until January.

After months of speculation about her contract status and whether or not she would return to WWE, Mone was announced for an appearance at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4th. While the nature of her appearance wasn’t announced in advance, it turns out that she was in attendance to confront IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI and issue a challenge for the title.

The two are set to face off at Battle in the Valley on February 18th. After the blockbuster title bout was announced, the show quickly sold out.

Mercedes Mone Has Been A Fan Of Japanese Wrestling Since She Was A Child

Speaking in an interview with NJPW, Mercedes Mone said that she’s still recovering from her debut and reflected on how cool it is that she’s still being tagged in images from Wrestle Kingdom weeks after the event.

When asked if she’s watched video of her debut, the star admitted that she hasn’t, but she made it clear that performing at the Tokyo Dome has always been a dream of hers as she grew up a fan of All Japan Pro Women’s Wrestling.

“No, I still haven’t! I still haven’t had the chance to, but it’s still taking time to feel real, because it’s been such a dream of mine. Not only to perform and wrestle in Japan, but to be in the Tokyo Dome. When I was 12, 13 I used to watch All Japan Women’s wrestling, and I used to see those matches in the Tokyo Dome.”

Continuing, Mercedes Mone reflected the 1994 Dream Slam card and following in the footsteps of All Japan legends to make an impact in Japanese wrestling herself.

“It was so big for me. To see the crowd’s reactions to seeing those women wrestle, it was like ‘wow, I want that someday’. To fast forward to this being my first moment in wrestling in 2023, and to make such a statement for evolving myself from being a boss to being a CEO. I’m so excited to be part of a group that’s so hungry. It’s a star in my heart, and it feels so great to be excited about wrestling again.”

The star admitted she had nerves before making her debut at Wrestle Kingdom, but says she’s absolutely ready to face KAIRI in February and hasn’t been excited about a match like this in a very long time.

“I’m absolutely ready for February 18. Waiting for January 4, I don’t know if you can call it an anxiety attack, but I had so many nerves, and such excitement for that appearance. Now that’s over with I’m really excited to have my first match all over again, and to do it for New Japan. I haven’t been excited for a match like this in a long long time, and I’m ready to shock the world. I’m ready to shock myself to be honest, to see what kind of magic KAIRI and I can create in that ring.”