Mercedes Mone Wins At Sakura Genesis, New Challenger Confirmed

Mercedes Mone in NJPW

Mercedes Mone was back in action at Sakura Genesis, remaining undefeated in 2023.

The star formerly known as Sasha Banks saw off Hazuki and STARDOM’s High-Speed Champion AZM in a frenetic Three-Way Match to retain her IWGP Women’s Title. Mone scored the win after hitting the Mone Maker on AZM onto Hazuki.

However, there wasn’t much time to celebrate as she was quickly challenged by Mayu Iwatani. The match between the pair will take place at STARDOM’s All Star Grand Queendom on April 23rd.

Mone is only the second IWGP Women’s Champion having defeated inaugural champion KAIRI at Battle in the Valley to claim the gold. KAIRI was crowned champion at the Historic X-Over event after defeating Iwatani in the finals of a tournament to decide the first-ever champion.

Could Mercedes Mone Return To WWE?

Interestingly, it has been reported that Mercedes Mone isn’t booked for any more appearances in Japan beyond the show on April 23rd. This has sparked speculation that the star could then head to AEW. Mone has been linked with AEW ever since it became clear that she was leaving WWE in 2022.

The star even recently hinted at an appearance at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door II on June 25th.

Incredibly, it appears that although unlikely, it’s not impossible that Mone returns to WWE. It has been reported that “From the WWE side, we were told there were points that she has asked for that she would have to give up asking for to sign a deal with them but the door is open for her otherwise.”

However, it should be noted that this report is from before Vince McMahon again became involved in WWE creative.