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Mercedes Moné Beats Kairi in 1st Match Since Leaving WWE as Sasha Banks

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 19, 2023Etsuo Hara/Getty ImagesIn her first match since leaving WWE in May 2022, Mercedes Moné defeated Kairi at New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Battle in the Valley in San Jose, California, on Saturday to win the IWGP Women’s Championship.FITE @FiteTVRespect is shown. #njBITV to an episode of Raw in May, Mercedes

Mercedes Moné Beats Kairi in 1st Match Since Leaving WWE as Sasha Banks

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 19, 2023

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 04: Mercedes Mone and KAIRI face off during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling - WRESTLE KINGDOM 17 in Tokyo Dome on January 04, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Etsuo Hara/Getty Photos

In her first match since leaving WWE in Could 2022, Mercedes Moné defeated Kairi at New Japan Professional-Wrestling’s Battle within the Valley in San Jose, California, on Saturday to win the IWGP Girls’s Championship.


Respect is proven. #njBITV

Previous to an episode of Uncooked in Could, Mercedes and Naomi walked out of WWE due to artistic variations. They had been suspended and stripped of their WWE Girls’s Tag Staff Championships, and Mercedes didn’t resurface on the earth of professional wrestling till January.

At Wrestle Kingdom 17, Moné made her NJPW debut after Kairi’s profitable title protection in opposition to Tam Nakano.

After going by the title Sasha Banks throughout her decade in WWE, Mercedes not solely modified her title, but in addition her look and theme track. Moreover, she modified her nickname from “The Boss” to “The CEO.”

Mercedes confronted Kairi and attacked her. She then lower a heel promo, challenged Kairi to a future title match and held the IWGP Girls’s Championship above her head.

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njpwworld @njpwworld

IT’S MERCEDES MONÉ!@mercedesvarnado is within the Tokyo Dome!!!#wk17 #njpw

Shortly after that second, Mercedes vs. Kairi was made official for Battle within the Valley, marking New Japan’s return to the USA for a serious present and Moné’s first match of any variety in about 9 months.

Whereas it had been a couple of years since their final match in opposition to every, Mercedes and Kairi had been no strangers to 1 one other, as they confronted off on a number of events in WWE, notably in 2019 and 2020.

Actually, Kairi’s ultimate feud in WWE in the summertime of 2020 earlier than returning house to Japan noticed her and Asuka feud with Mercedes and Bayley.

Kairi and Asuka fell brief of their bid to beat Mercedes and Bayley for the WWE Girls’s Tag Staff Championships, however Kairi did rating singles wins over each Mercedes and Bayley previous to her departure.

By way of curiosity from an American viewers, Saturday arguably marked the largest ladies’s match within the historical past of Japanese wrestling, as a five-time Uncooked ladies’s champion, one-time SmackDown ladies’s champion and one-time NXT ladies’s champion in Moné was making her in-ring return in opposition to a one-time NXT ladies’s champion in Kairi.

Mercedes’ in-ring return was a profitable one, and by beating Kairi for the title, she shortly established herself because the face of the NJPW and STARDOM ladies’s division.

Hearken to Ring Rust Radio for all the sizzling wrestling subjects. Catch the newest episode within the participant beneath.

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