Mercedes Moné thinks she's found a wrestling home, opens up about WWE exit, being told she suffered career-ending injury

Originally published at Mercedes Moné thinks she's found a wrestling home, opens up about WWE exit, being told she suffered career-ending injury

An extensive interview with Mercedes Moné. 

It has been nearly a year since Mercedes Moné was last in action. At NJPW Resurgence, she made it to the finals of the STRONG Women’s Championship tournament. During the bout, Moné suffered an ankle/foot injury and as a result, Willow Nightingale went on to secure the win to become the first-ever STRONG Women’s Champion. 

Evan T. Mack conducted an extensive interview with Moné for The Kick Rocks Wrestling Podcast. She dove into how she’s feeling following the injury and called it a freak accident. She spent her time sidelined thinking about how much unfinished business she has in wrestling. Moné stated that she was moving fast in 2023 and prior to that, a lot of hurt happened and she needed to heal. 

She could not walk for three months following the injury but now feels more ready and better than ever. She’s ready to see her 2023 plans resume in 2024. She added that she’s made some big business moves in addition to continuing on in the acting and music spaces. Mercedes mentioned that she thinks she’s finally found a wrestling home after being a free agent. 

Circling back to her injury, she was told it was career-ending but stood against that being her reality. Mercedes said she’ll be back soon. 

I’ve always been saying since I got hurt, I’m healing every day and that has progressed my healing so much. What a crazy experience that I’ve never got to talk about. It’s been crazy. Almost 10 months now, from a freak accident, or did Willow (Nightingale) push me? Or did someone pay off the ref and made that top rope slippery? I don’t know but I’ve spent the past 10 months thinking about how much unfinished business I have in wrestling and how much I was on a hunger tour goal. I was so focused and just so ready for my plans to succeed in 2023 and for that to happen to me, it taught me so much about life and it just taught me that I needed to even, I guess, slow down even more and to heal. Because prior to that, a lot happened to me, you know? A lot of hurt happened and a lot of healing needed to happen and I still was just going so fast, but ready because I love wrestling so much and I couldn’t be away from it. But I wasn’t healed inside that I think it was just a message being like, you gotta slow down and figure out what’s next for you and what are your plans. Your plans are good, but I think you need to reevaluate a little bit more and just that whole time I was injured, I couldn’t walk for three months. I got brand new puppies two weeks before I got injured. You’ve got no idea how it is to hop out of the bed, grab your crutches and be like, ‘Please… Why’d you poop everywhere?’ I am like a one-legged — so strong now, it’s insane to see how powerful your mind, your body can just overcome and heal something that is just so traumatic. But I feel more ready and more better than ever and I cannot wait to see all my prior plans of 2023 come into fruition to 2024. I’ve been making some really big moves. Big business moves and big money moves, you know? And just this whole time of healing, I got to work on so many other things that I have such a passion for. I think fans are gonna be really excited and they’re gonna be like, finally! That I’ll be releasing music this year. I am still acting and got some amazing, amazing things in the works and I got to audition for incredible roles in movies so, we gotta keep on manifesting great things about that and I finally think I found a home in a wrestling place. Yeah. So it’s really, really exciting and I’m excited about these big money moves. 

Little do people know, I was told that this was a career-ending injury and I screamed at my doctor and surgeon. I said, ‘No, it’s not’ and I’m going to come back really soon and I’m going to have just the greatest time, the greatest matches, the greatest career that I’ve ever had yet because I see it and I feel it and I know it…

Later in the conversation, Moné spoke about her and Naomi (Trinity Fatu) walking out of WWE in 2022. She explained that something inside her told her she needed to do what was done. Moné called it the hardest decision she’s ever made and the proudest one as well. 

Moné stated that wrestling in WWE was her whole life and she’s proud of herself and Naomi for how strong they were in that situation. She feels she handled it like a ‘CEO’ and a ‘boss’. Mercedes is thankful to WWE for the career they’ve given her and she became emotional while talking about being able to live her dream of being there. 

That’s a big question. That’s a big, big question (Moné responded when asked about her & Naomi’s 2022 WWE departure). I really believe in not only the universe but, I believe in myself and I believe in such a higher power of light that comes over me. Something inside me told me I needed to go do this and stand up for myself. It was a very hard decision because wrestling in WWE has been my whole life. If people don’t know, it’s been my whole life and it’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my whole life. But it’s the most proudest. It’s crazy, because I would not be sitting here living the best version of my life and getting to be everything I’ve ever dreamt of. I get to be everything I’ve dreamt of and more. You have no idea, and it makes me so excited because that moment changed my whole life for the better. I’m so thankful for that moment, I’m so proud of myself, I’m so proud of Trinity, I’m so proud of… just how strong we were, because like you said, everybody wanted to talk about it. Everybody wanted to act like they were in the room. I just know that everybody acted like they were in the room or work there or were backstage or knew what happened or knew what was said. But all I know is that I handled it like it CEO, like the boss that I am, with my head held high and I can’t say nothing but amazing things to WWE. I’m so thankful for the career that they gave me, the fans that they gave me, the life that they gave me, the dreams that they gave me. So many dreams. I got to chase and live them all. I get to do so much more and like I said, I have a lot of unfinished business in wrestling in a lot of places.

She was asked what she thinks or feels when she hears the name ‘Sasha Banks’. Moné feels she had an amazing career under that name, adding that she also has the ‘Legit Boss’ nickname trademarked. 

A legend (is what I think of when I hear or think about the name ‘Sasha Banks’). An icon, a powerhouse. Someone who stands up for what she believes in; is a Legit Boss. We got that trademarked for a reason. She played that role good, I played that role really good. She’s a legit boss inside and outside of that ring and will lay it out there all on the line. She has a heart full of gold and you know, Sasha Banks, what a career. Oh my God. What an amazing career. But the thing about that makes me even more excited to see what Mercedes Moné can do.

In regards to her wrestling future, Mercedes does not feel the responsibility to elevate whatever division she chooses to join because it’s what she loves and has to do. 

I don’t like putting pressure on myself like that (she responded when asked if she agrees there’s a responsibility for her to elevate whatever division she joins). You got me feeling like a superhero. I don’t feel like it’s responsibilities when it’s my dream and it’s what I love, because it’s not a responsibility, it’s what I have to do. It’s what I was born to do, it’s my sole purpose, it’s what I’m chasing to do. Equality in this business and making this business so safe for women and respected for women. It’s beyond that so, responsibility? Sure, you can put it on me but it’s my goal. It’s what I’ve been chasing, it’s what makes me so passionate about this business and it makes me go chase these dreams that are, sometimes, you think that are not possible. It’s like, let me see if I can be. If no one’s gonna do it, I will. I’m gonna try to.

Coming up on March 13th, All Elite Wrestling is presenting their ‘Big Business’ edition of Dynamite. The event is taking place at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts and the promotional material labels Boston as ‘Bo$$ton’. 

There is going to be an AEW World Title match and a singles bout between Jay White and Darby Allin on the show as well. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Kick Rocks Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

I’m very curious how this all plays out in AEW. Her biggest issue in WWE from my understanding was that near the end of her run in her tag team with Naomi they were presented as afterthoughts despite being tag champs, which for the record was completely valid as they were presented that way.

AEW’s largest criticism tends to be that they book the women’s division as an afterthought. Maybe Tony uses Mone as the centerpiece of the division and elevates the entire division with it (I have to imagine that this was his sales pitch, unless he just outbid WWE), but based on track record, its one of those things I need to see before I believe it. If the women’s division stays the status quo, I can’t help but wonder if history repeats itself. Hopefully this singing is the kick in the ass the division (or more so Tony) needs.

They have an excellent woman’s division right now they just need more time and better booking. Book a cool tournament and build a proper challenger for Toni.
The current booking of rotating 1strong woman for a PPV match, while allowing Soho to date someone and the weird stuff around the tnt title…it all makes no sense.
Just start a fresh

I don’t think many people are arguing that there is no talent, Tony just actually need to feature the women.

Women’s division. Tag division. Even the midcard. When you have weekly TV, it’s always been pretty obvious when the bookers are actually interested in them vs. checking a box. And I don’t think Tony currently has much interest in the women’s division. He’s interested in Toni Storm and he’s aware enough to at least book matches around the secondary women’s title, but that’s about it. Same patterns we saw WWE/Vince fall in and out of for years with basically anything other than the men’s main event scene.