Originally published at Stephanie Vaquer details why NJPW Resurgence match against Mercedes Moné is one of her favorites
The match meant a lot to Vaquer for multiple reasons.
The NJPW STRONG Women’s Championship was unveiled one year ago and a one-night tournament at the Resurgence event determined the first champion.
In the opening round, Mercedes Moné went one-on-one with Stephanie Vaquer. Although Vaquer came out on the losing end, the bout meant a lot to her for multiple reasons and she explained why on Thunder Rosa’s Vlog.
Vaquer added that when she got to the locker room after the match, people were clapping and initially, she thought the applause was for Mercedes, but Mercedes was not there and Vaquer then realized the applause was for her.
I think… but not just because of the fight (with Mercedes Moné), but because of everything that it involved. I think it was one of my favorite fights and it always will be. I mean, it includes so many things. When I was in Chile and I would watch New Japan, I never dreamed of being in New Japan because I thought it was only for men and I always grew up thinking that it was only for men. Then being the first Latina and then CMLL sending a foreigner and not a Mexican to be the first Latina in New Japan was like, wow, wait a moment! This was my dream because I never thought there would be women but being the first to get there was like, wow, and it was a really good fight.
It was exciting and look, it is my favorite fight even if I lost it. A lot of people say, ‘No’, but I won more than I lost because yes, I lost the opportunity for the championship, but I won more because I went to an audience I didn’t know, I went to arena where it’s not my home, it’s not my comfort zone, to a different style than mine, that I have to adapt to a fighter who has a lot of experience. She has experience and a lot of fame. So even though I lost, I remember it well. I will smile every time I remember that till the day I die. When I lost, I got out of the ring and walked to the locker rooms, people stood up and clapped and I thought they were clapping for Moné. Then when I turned around, she wasn’t there and I realized it was for me. I am excited, yes! In my role as a villain, but with a huge urge to cry, I said, I didn’t lose… I lost the opportunity for the championship, but I didn’t lose.
Willow Nightingale went on to become the first STRONG Women’s Champion by besting Moné in the final. Moné suffered an ankle injury that night and as of this writing, that was her most recent match.
The reigning STRONG Women’s Champion is Giulia.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit Thunder Rosa’s Vlog with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.