Mercedes Monè Reveals Why She Left WWE

Sasha Banks is out, and Mercedes Monè is in. The former multi-time WWE Women's Champion returned to professional wrestling earlier this month, debuting at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 as Mercedes Monè. Monè immediately set her sights on IWGP Women's Champion KAIRI, attacking her after her successful title defense against Tam Nakano. At the subsequent press conference, Monè spoke about her plans in the far east, noting that she plans on taking the IWGP Women's Title en route to embarking on a "world domination tour." This set up a championship bout between KAIRI and Monè, which was then announced for February's NJPW Battle in the Valley. That event would sell out shortly after.

Beyond the six months that fans waited for her to return to the ring, Monè revealed that this NJPW arrival has been decades in the making.

"They were hitting just as hard as the men, having these 30 minute long five-star matches," Monè reflected on 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."

Monè achieved her global fame as Sasha Banks, the name she wrestled under for 10 years. Even though she anticipated that her fans would follow her to Japan, Monè admitted she is surprised by how quick people have taken to her new monicker.

"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."

Even though she has been away from WWE since May 2022, Monè has kept busy in various entertainment mediums.

"I've been working every single day since I left there," Monè said. "I've been making movies, making TV shows, magazines, modelling, I haven't stopped. But wrestling has always been my number one love, and there was no soul searching involved in coming back to wrestling. I went to Mexico for a month in October and lived there."

Monè vs. KAIRI for the IWGP Women's Championship goes down on February 18th.