Mercedes Mone (Sasha Banks) made her return to the ring for the first time in nine months this past weekend.
Mercedes faced off with KAIRI for the IWGP Women’s Championship at the NJPW Battle in the Valley show on Saturday night.
Mercedes ended up victorious in the bout, becoming the second-ever IWGP Women’s Champion.
Numerous possible names have been speculated as future challengers for the belt, with Mercedes herself naming several stars that she would like to face.
At today’s Stardom press conference though, we seemingly got confirmation on who is next in line for Mercedes.
Stardom’s current High Speed Champion AZM addressed the IWGP Women’s Championship at the conference, where she challenged Mercedes after the new champion had mentioned her name in an interview last week.
She said (translated from Japanese by Reddit user u/elrincondistroyer):
“The IWGP has been replaced by Moné right? I am well aware that Mercedes Moné mentioned my name, the next challenger is me ¡¡¡ Moné ¡¡¡ I’m waiting for your reply”
AZM is a member of the Queen’s Quest stable in Stardom led by former World of Stardom Champion Utami Hayashishita, also featuring current Wonder of Stardom Champion Saya Kamitani, Lady C, Miyu Amasaki and Hina.
The group was founded in late 2016 by Io Shirai (IYO SKY).
— スターダム✪STARDOM (@wwr_stardom) February 20, 2023
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