NJPW star Mercedes Mone has spoken about leaving WWE to wrestle for the Japanese promotion.
Mone made the surprise appearance at Wrestle Kingdom 17, confronting IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI inside the Tokyo Dome.
Speaking with NJPW, Mone has thanked the fans for their support, while also knowing that the move would create headlines around the world:
“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,”
Mone would continue, stating that her time in WWE is over, and it is now time for the international dream to begin:
“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.”
As part of the move to NJPW, the wrestler formerly known as Sasha Banks will be wrestling for STARDOM, which is an all women promotion. Mone has expressed her excitement to wrestle for the promotion, along with the curiosity of how it is structured.
“I’ve only gotten to experience WWE Evolution as an all women’s show. I’ve never been part of an all women promotion like STARDOM is, so that will be a first for me. I’ve always been mixed with the guys and sharing, what, maybe five minutes of a three hour weekly TV show. So I’m really excited to be a part of STARDOM and be a part of all women’s shows. I’m intrigued to see what it’s like and how it all works, but it’s been working for Japan for a very long time, and being involved with all these potential fresh matchups makes me excited about the future,”
H/t to Fightful for the use of transcriptions.
Featured image: WrestleTalk