Mercedes Mone has discussed her in-ring future, addressing her departure from WWE.
The former Sasha Banks was one of WWE’s most decorated women’s wrestlers, winning the NXT Women’s, WWE Women’s Tag Team, SmackDown Women’s and Raw Women’s titles during her stint with the company.
She last wrestled for WWE in May 2022, before walking out on a Raw taping and not returning to TV.
The popular star made her NJPW debut at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4 as ‘Mercedes Mone’, confronting IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI.
In an interview with NJPW, Mone discussed the transition from WWE to Japanese wrestling, noting:
“Personally, I always knew I was going to make an impact here. But it’s cool to see how quick it was, the turnaround to go from another name and character I’ve done for ten years to now be Mercedes Moné, and to see that instantly trend… just people obviously caring and wanting to see my match with KAIRI was cool.
“For it to sell out with that match being the only thing announced at that time was amazing. I know my fans always love and support me, so I knew it was going to do well, but it was kind of a shock to see how quickly it went that well.
“I’ve been working every single day since I left there. I’ve been making movies, making TV shows, magazines, modelling, I haven’t stopped.
“But wrestling has always been my number one love, and there was no soul searching involved in coming back to wrestling. I went to Mexico for a month in October and lived there.”
“Seeing Manami Toyota and Akira Hokuto, Aja Kong, all these hard hitting matches, and it was like ‘wait, there are matches where women are outperforming and having better matches than the men?’
“They were hitting just as hard as the men, having these 30 minute long five star matches. I was so amazed by them that Japan became my number one goal even before WWE.
“So I managed to achieve what I wanted to achieve in WWE, and now I get to live out this international dream.
“I’ve been saying ‘Moné makes the world go round’, and I mean that. I’m thrilled to start this in Japan, and with NJPW and STARDOM.
“STARDOM, to me, has the best women’s wrestlers in the world, and I really want to cement my legacy with my wrestling fans, to cement my name with the greatest of all time. I’m ready to f**king go.”
Mone will return to the ring at the February 18 NJPW Battle in the Valley event in San Jose, California.
Transcription via Fightful.
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