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NewsMercedes Mone Opens Up On NJPW Debut, WWE Exit, More

Mercedes Mone Opens Up On NJPW Debut, WWE Exit, More



In an exclusive interview with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Mercedes Mone (Sasha Banks in WWE) spoke at length about a variety of topics, including her NJPW debut at Wrestle Kingdom 17, her upcoming match with KAIRI at Battle in the Valley, her fascination with Japanese wrestling, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

Mercedes Mone on her New Japan debut at Wrestle Kingdom: “I’m still trying to recover from it all (laughs). It takes a while to recover after you come back from Japan, an I’m still getting tagged in all these Wrestle Kingdom pictures, still seeing so many people’s reactions about what happened. It was two weeks ago but I’m still taking it in.”

On whether she’s watched the debut back yet: “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… 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.”

On Battle in the Valley instantly selling out following her debut match announcement: “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.”

On her upcoming match against KAIRI: 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.

Mercedes Mone will challenge KAIRI for the IWGP Women’s Championship at Battle in the Valley on February 18 at the San Jose Civic in San Jose, California.

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