Mercedes Mone Shoots On Departing WWE; Making NJPW Debut
The former Sasha Banks speaks on her WWE departure and New Japan debut.
Mercedes Mone says she's "still trying to recover" from the excitement of her New Japan debut at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
The former WWE star told NJPW's official website that she "always knew [she] was going to make an impact" in the company after leaving her old stomping ground behind. On that, Mone said going "from another name and character I’ve done for 10 years" to Mercedes wasn't easy, but she's been really happy with how wrestling fans have embraced the change.
Mone played Sasha Banks up until walking out on WWE before the 16 May 2022 episode of Raw with then-tag-team partner Naomi; Naomi is expected to make a return to Raw/SmackDown screens imminently, but Banks decided to take some time away from wrestling before landing in New Japan.
That's something she had wanted to do since stumbling across Japanese women's wrestling as a teenager. Mercedes was blown away by reactions from live crowds towards female matches in the country, and she's delighted she gets the chance to experience that in 2023.
However, she's not going to pretend that leaving 10 years of WWE history behind was easy.