Mercedes Martinez: I shouldn’t have to wrestle almost 21 years to finally see women’s wrestling be where it’s at

Originally published at Mercedes Martinez gives her thoughts on the progression of women in wrestling

Mercedes Martinez opens up about the ups and downs of women in wrestling.

Since the early 2000s, Mercedes Martinez has been involved in pro wrestling and her journey in the business has taken her across the world. She was a part of Ring of Honor, had a run in All Elite Wrestling and competed for a plethora of promotions such as SHINE, WSU, CZW and more.

Mercedes is coming off a year long run with WWE and she is now back on the independent scene. While doing a virtual signing with K & S WrestleFest, she spoke about what she and fellow women in wrestling have had to endure throughout their respective careers. Mercedes started off by speaking about ageism in the business and how for men, their 30s are considered their prime years but for women, that is the period in their careers when people think they are winding down.

Female wrestlers, and we shouldn’t even say ‘female’. I just think wrestlers are wrestlers and I truly believe, especially in my career if you follow my career from the beginning to now, I’ve wrestled guys and sometimes wrestling the guys gave me better matches than wrestling the females. Why? Because I can be more physical. I can actually bring out my true self and what kind of a wrestler I wanna be. Just that strong style type of wrestling and sometimes you can’t do it with the females. Some of them are just too small, some of them are not rough enough, they can’t handle it. Throughout my whole career, it was always like that. But I truly believe that if you give a female the opportunity to tear the house down, they will tear it down and even for the Latin community, I just think we need more of that. I think equality is a big thing and we still need to get that equality. Don’t get me wrong, WWE and AEW, everyone has their niche and everyone has their ‘representation matters’. I truly believe that female wrestling should be more on par with the male wrestling in everything and when I say everything, I mean pay, main event, merchandise, even what I know Mickie James talked about it, ageism, your age. I mean for most companies, being above 35 for females, your career is over, whereas if you’re a male, being 35 and older, that’s like the prime. It shouldn’t be like that. I’m gonna be 41 and I’m still in my prime. I can go with the best of ‘em and then some. I can still go with the young girls, I can still teach them so there’s still a lot of equal stuff that we have to catch up to and when I say representation matters when it comes to female wrestling, I don’t like to put it in — all these companies like SHIMMER, SHINE, WSU, Mission Pro, you know and every company out there, AEW with their women’s division, IMPACT with their women’s division, you have to put the work in for the female wrestlers because we take a lot of sh*t. You know how much sh*t I took in my career to get to where I am? You wouldn’t believe the bullsh*t that I took in the beginning of my career. Even ten years after my career, it’s still the same. Nothing has changed and the only way it’s gonna change is by the females supporting each other and we make a change and leading these promoters to make that change really.

Mercedes added that she should not have to wrestle 21 years to finally see some change for women in wrestling. In some ways, she still feels things have not changed and that shift should have happened ten years ago.

She one day would like to see all-women’s cards with one male match on it as an attraction so people could see what she and others went through for so many years.

It’s taking forever. That’s all it is. I think it’s taking so long. I shouldn’t have to wrestle for almost 21 years to finally see women’s wrestling finally be where it’s at. This should’ve happened ten years ago. This is why women’s companies like SHIMMER and SHINE literally put in the forefront athleticism and athletes. It’s SHIMMER Women Athletes, SHINE Wrestling is based on — every women’s company out there is based on women’s wrestling and their athletic ability. Yes, you’re gonna have whatever you want. You’re gonna have your whatever you wanna see from women’s wrestling. Everyone wants to see wrestlers for whatever it is. You wanna see your goth wrestlers, you wanna see your painted-face wrestlers, you wanna see your bad asses, you wanna see the pretty girls. You have everything in women’s wrestling. People keep it to one thing. Make it big just like the men. There’s no difference. For me, there’s no difference. Wrestling is wrestling. You put on the product. I would like to see a women’s show with one male match as an attraction. Let them feel what we felt for so long. That’s what I would like to see so they can see how we were always separated and you know, the men, if you guys saw what we went through and you guys were actually put through that, I think your perception would change. It really would.

Martinez is back in the swing of the things post-WWE and has multiple dates and signings lined up. Her return match was for PPW in Pennsylvania and she scored a win over Christina Marie and Rachael Ellering in a three-way match.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit K & S WrestleFest with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.