ALL ELITE ASSESSMENT – MERCEDES MONE: A look at her background, her latest chapter, and her future including pros and cons of being a heel or a babyface

By Dan Allanson, PWTorch contributor

Mercedes Moné


The All Elite Assessment has returned. Rumors that my hiatus coincided with a divisive booking of late 2023 AEW television have been greatly exaggerated.

In all seriousness, All In 2023 at Wembley Stadium in London felt like a crescendo to my AEW fandom. As Summerslam 1992 (coincidentally held at the same venue) was my introduction to the sport I love, All In 2023 felt like a real full circle moment. Since that extraordinary event, AEW has experienced some tumultuous times. Injuries, suspensions and some baffling creative decisions left the challenger company with several headaches when entering 2024.

Thankfully AEW has seen an uptick in creative quality. Not all is rosy in the All Elite garden but there are green shoots of positivity. A soft rebrand, the introduction of new stars and a more focused narrative direction does show an effort to recapture the passion and energy that many fans felt at the company’s inception.

One such new star is Mercedes Moné and the newly crowned “CEO’” is the subject of this weeks returning All Elite Assessment.

Mercedes Moné


Mercedes Varnado is rightfully considered one of the all-time great female competitors in North American wrestling. Now rechristened Mercedes Moné, the former “Boss” was a vanguard for the vaunted “Women’s Revolution” in the 2010s. Alongside Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Bayley, Moné recalibrated what it meant to be a women’s wrestler on the mainstream scene. Athletic, confident and driven, the wittily dubbed “Four Horsewomen” drove a movement, changing the way that the audience viewed female led in-ring action.

Inspired by her hero Eddie Guerrero, Moné began training in her home state of Massachusetts in 2010. WWE soon took note and signed Moné to a developmental contract in 2012. Her timing could not have been better as WWE Developmental had recently transitioned from the Florida independent model to a more in-house specialized NXT. The next, highly-successful decade would see Moné rise up the NXT ranks and beyond main eventing every rung up the professions ladder. Often paired with real-life bestie Bayley (either in opposition or alongside) Moné would main-event NXT Takeover “Respect” and Wrestlemania 37. Moné would capture the NXT Women’s Championship (1x), WWE Raw Women’s Championship (5x), WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship (1x), and the Women’s Tag Team Champion (3x) in a decade glittering with gold.

Indeed it was the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship and her pride behind the title which would result in her unceremonious departure from WWE. Alleged disagreements between Mone’, her tag partner Naomi, and WWE creative led to the pair walking away from their WWE contracts. Opinion online was divided, some saw the departure as an entitled reaction from a malcontent whilst others would argue Moné and Naomi showed agency and stood by their values in the face of erratic WWE creative.

Either way Mone’s bold move led her to journey to New Japan Pro Wrestling and their sister promotion, Stardom. Debuting in polarising fashion at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17, Moné would go on to defeat Kairi Sane for the IWGP Women’s championship at the U.S based Battle in the Valley PPV before losing the title 64 days later at Stardom’s All Star Grand Queendom to Mayu Iwatani. Moné would then chase the newly created NJPW Strong Women’s Title but suffer an unfortunate ankle injury at the hands of AEW’s Willow Nightingale.


Since Moné walked away from WWE rumors have circulated that her final destination would be AEW. A cameo at the aforementioned All In 2023 fanned the online flames though it would be another seven months until Moné would officially debut on AEW Dynamite.

In a move which telegraphed Mone’s imminent arrival, Tony Khan took to Dynamite to announce an upcoming special named “Big Business” emanating from Mone’s home city of Boston, Massachusetts. In a move which mirrored C.M. Punk’s debut at Rampage “First Dance,” Moné opened the special to a raucous reaction.

Moné stood centre ring and delivered an encouraging promo in which she thanked the fans for a warm reception. The show closed with Moné once again appearing and coming to the aid of prior foe Nightingale in opposition to TBS Champion Julia Hart. Another in-ring promo would follow in which Moné would again thank the fans but offer little in terms of a solid mission statement. This week’s Dynamite would see Moné sit in on commentary for a TBS Championship number one contender match but again offer little in terms of direction. Perhaps a better showcase for Mone’s considerable talent were a sit-down with Renee Paquette as well as a stellar (if character confusing) video package displaying Moné’s success both in and out of the ring.


There is no doubt that Mercedes Moné is a significant signing for AEW wrestling. A true superstar with a fervent fanbase, Moné stands out amongst All Elite’s loaded female roster. However lessons must be learnt from prior high-profile signees. Ruby Soho, Toni Storm and Saraya were all heralded on debut but soon merged with the AEW traffic due to their presentation.

Moné has had a confusing start. Her in-ring promos have been good. On-screen presentation from the entrance theme and screen, costuming and confidence have all been top shelf but the content has been lackluster. Although Nightingale has appeared to be in Moné’s crosshairs, the rivalry is yet to be heated up. With new PPV Dynasty only weeks away, Nightingale is lined up in a title match with TBS Champion Julia Hart with Moné smouldering on the sidelines.

A color commentator role whilst scouting opponents is fine, but arguably doesn’t scream “superstar.” It could also be argued that Mone’s position as lead babyface is miscast. It is common practice for a debuting wrestler to enter a new promotion as a babyface, but here was an opportunity to do something different. If the plan is for Moné to feud with Nightingale, then the fans could be divided. Nightingale is the archetypal smiling babyface. Moné may have an uphill struggle gaining full fan backing against a fellow AEW favourite.

Why not switch Moné to the arrogant and privileged CEO heel? Acting above a enthusiastic Nightingale could provide a compelling first feud for Mone’. A cavalcade of babyfaces could then be lined up for Mercedes. A vengeful Statlander, AEW favourite Thunder Rosa and a returning homegrown hero in Britt Baker or Jamie Hayter could provide a stellar debut year for Moné at All Elite Wrestling.

Alternatively, Moné is more than capable at portraying a cheerable babyface. The humble, thankful babyface is a tricky line to tread, but Moné has been successful in the role before. The key to success is the strength of heel opposition. Julia Hart is a fair start. Opponents who would allow Moné to display her in-ring prowess should be prioritized. Britt Baker as an embittered returning heel could be excellent, turning Deonna Purrazzo could be another option and Serena Deeb would provide a solid in-ring introduction in the short-term.


Although early days, Moné’s debut is yet to make a significant difference in either live attendances or television ratings. It’s not the time to press the panic button just yet, but AEW does need to feature Moné to the best of her abilities. WWE has recently found success in featuring its headline stars sporadically; maybe this is the key for Moné. Signal Moné as a star by promoting her appearances and making them count. A pivot to a more heelish persona may seem counter intuitive for a debuting act but would be a fresh approach.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES (3/27): Ospreay vs. Shibata, Swerve vs. Takeshita, Mercedes on commentary, Adam Cole

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: McGuire’s Mondays: Alex Coughlin’s retirement, AEW’s rankings system, and the arduous build to WrestleMania XL

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