Since leaving WWE, Mercedes Mone has become one of the most in-demand wrestlers in the world.
After achieving pretty much everything there was to achieve in WWE, Mone walked out of the company in acrimonious circumstances in May 2022. While the specifics of what exactly happened will likely never be known, Mone and her tag team partner Trinity (Naomi) reportedly walked out after a row over creative.
Mone remained away from wrestling until her WWE deal expired at the end of 2022 and relaunched her career in Japan with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and STARDOM. However, the star isn’t believed to be locked into any kind of long-term deal and has continually been linked with at least a short-run with AEW.
All of this in-ring success and speculation has come against a background of mainstream success, which has seen Mone’s star shine brighter than ever.
One man who knows Mercedes Mone, as well as anyone in wrestling, is Dean Muhtadi, formerly known as Mojo Rawley. The pair have been friends since joining WWE at around the same time in 2012 and Muhtadi recently flew to Japan to support Mone at STARDOM’s All Star Grand Queendom super-show.
Muhtadi recently sat down with Nick Hausman for Inside The Ropes and chatted about all things wrestling, including Mone’s current run of success. With Mone flourishing in Japan, Muhtadi said that he backed her decision to leave WWE even if her departure was a little controversial, adding that he “loves everything she stands for.”
With regard to what’s next for the former IWGP Women’s Champion, Muhtadi said that she hasn’t got her eyes on just one project, and is working on a whole host of things including some outside of wrestling.
“Well, you know, from what I understand, and I absolutely don’t want to speak about her career, because, that’s her decision to make. But, I think she wants to do a lot of things right now. I mean, her star power, I feel like is at an all time high right now even more so than when she was with WWE. I mean, with Mandalorian she just finished her second season with them. I mean, I know she has a lot of stuff cooking right now she’s gotten a lot of requests for other movies, other television shows.
I think this kind of new trend of doing like, you know, three month, limited campaigns with certain promotions has really been fruitful for a lot of people for the promotion, they get to ride the high of having a fresh talent in for a limited run that ends before they get too saturated, and the fans kind of get used to them. But it also allows the talent, you know, some time to stay in wrestling to have a great storyline and then go back to some other new exciting things that they’ve done.”
Reflecting on Mone’s career to date, the former WWE and NFL star said that she’s already accomplished an incredible amount in the ring, but bigger things could be yet to come. Muhtadi explained that by doing projects outside of wrestling that increase her star power, Mone will become an even bigger name every time she returns to the ring.
“When you look about putting together a body of work, and you know, how your career is going to go for a lifetime, Mercedes has done just about everything there is to do in wrestling. So far, she’s main event at WrestleMania, for crying out loud. So, you know, just doing some other things, doing these other shows and movies, it just raises her star power, so much so that when she does come back to wrestling, there’s way more eyes on the product, not just from a wrestling crowd.”
Mercedes Mone To Become A Free Agent Soon?
Although Mercedes Mone lost her IWGP Women’s Title at STARDOM’s All Star Grand Queendom, she isn’t quite done with the promotion or sister company NJPW. Shortly after the loss, it was confirmed that Mone would be back in action at Resurgence in Long Beach, California on May 21st. However, it is believed that she has no further bookings for either promotion beyond that, meaning that a much-rumoured move to AEW could be possible.
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