Mercedes Moné Confirms Next Match for New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Mercedes Moné started her post-WWE career in the biggest way possible, debuting for New Japan Pro-Wrestling at Wrestle Kingdom 17 and then becoming the new IWGP Women's Champion by the end of the night. Her next match has been rumored, but tonight Moné has revealed when her next match will take place, and she will be defending her IWGP Women's Championship against AZM and Hazuki. They will battle at Sakura Genesis on April 8th, and Moné looks to continue the reign of Moné by night's end. You can find the full announcement video below.

At Wrestle Kingdom 17, Moné made her post-WWE debut in NJPW, and her match would be against KAIRI. They would battle for the IWGP Women's Championship, and after a thrilling match Moné would be victorious and become the new IWGP Women's Champion. In her latest announcement, Moné talked about the skill and experience of her opponents at Sakura Genesis, but she also pointed out they are not on her level.

In the promo, Moné said "Double the challenge equals double the Moné. AZM, known to be one of the fastest and youngest prodigies in all of Stardom history. Hazuki, known for her resilience and never give up attitude. You both have proven time and time again that you both are two of the very best, but you both have to wake up every single morning and look in the mirror and know that you are not the CEO of the Women's Division. You are not the conversation, and you are definitely not the IWGP Women's Champion. So on April 8th at Sakura Genesis, you two are both going to get brushed with greatness."

This will be Moné's first defense of the IWGP Women's Championship, and if Battle in the Valley is anything to go by, Sakura Genesis should end up being a hot ticket. Battle in the Valley sold out quickly, and Moné's match against KAIRI ended up being fantastic, so the bar has been set for Sakura Genesis.

Moné has opened up a bit on why she decided to depart WWE and what it's been like changing from The Boss Sasha Banks to Mercedes Moné, and wrestling in Japan was always something she dreamed of doing.

"They were hitting just as hard as the men, having these 30 minute long five-star matches," Monè said about watching Japanese female wrestlers growing up. "I was so amazed by them that Japan became my number one goal even before WWE. I managed to achieve what I wanted to achieve in WWE, and now I get to live out this international dream."

"It's cool to see how quick it was, the turnaround to go from another name and character I've done for ten years to now be Mercedes Monè, and to see that instantly trend," Monè continued. "Just people obviously caring and wanting to see my match with KAIRI was cool. For it to sell out, with that match being the only thing announced at that time, was amazing. I know my fans always love and support me, so I knew it was going to do well, but it was kind of a shock to see how quickly it went that well."

Will you be tuning into Sakura Genesis? Let us know in the comments or always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!