SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Mercedes Mone, formerly known as Sasha Banks in WWE, made her New Japan Pro Wrestling debut at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
In the second match of the show, Kairi defeated Tam Nakano to retain her IWGP Women’s Championship. After the match, Mone made her debut and walked to the ring to confront Kairi. Both women stared each other down in the ring before Mone dropped Kairi with a specialized backbreaker.
With Kairi lying on the mat, Mone grabbed a microphone and said that she was the CEO of the women’s division in New Japan and Stardom. She then challenged Kairi to a match for the IWGP Women’s Championship at Battle in the Valley.
Battle in the Valley takes place on PPV on February 18. No other matches have been announced for the show at this time.
Mercedes Mone has not been seen in a wrestling ring since walking out of the WWE in May of 2022. Mone and her tag team partner, Naomi, were tag team champions at the time, but left the company due to creative frustrations. At the end of last year, it was reported that Mone would be appearing at Wrestle Kingdom for the first time ever.
Mercedes Mone is a multiple time women’s world champion in WWE.