She may have lost New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s IWGP Women’s championship to Mayu Iwatani at Stardom’s All Star Queendom show yesterday (April 23), but Mercedes Moné’s been making it pretty clear that wouldn’t be the end of her run with either Bushiroad-owned promotion.
A report from before Sunday’s event in Yokohama claimed Moné signed a contract extension with Bushiroad for an unknown time period/number of dates. Some have insisted the former Sasha Banks’ deal was always for more than just a handful of January-April appearances. Either way, she was already talking about her next NJPW booking in her chat with the media after All Star Queendom:
Backstage comments from Mercedes Moné! She tells us her next stop in her NJPW/Stardom journey!! pic.twitter.com/Cmdb54VZLm— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) April 23, 2023
“I am so, so disappointed. I feel broken. I feel bankrupt. But I legit just called my CPA, and she said that I’m still really, really rich, so I will be okay. But look what Mayu did to my beautiful face. Do you not know who I am? I am a living legend. I am a star. I am the star from Star Wars!
“Mayu-san, you are not the Undertaker. And I promise you that the next time that I am here in Stardom, you will be a dead bitch. Because I want one more chance, one more opportunity to get back my IWGP Women’s championship. But I am not done with New Japan, and I am not done with Stardom. Because I am still on my world tour, and my next stop is May 21 at Resurgence. So get ready to roll up a nice big one, because we’re going to my cousin’s house — Long Beach, baby!”
That’s both an announcement of her next New Japan date and a reminder that Mercedes is related to Snoop Dogg. It seems unlikely we’ll get more than few indirect references to the hop hop icon from the LBC... he was just WrestleMania’s Doggfather a few weeks back, and seems to be on good (possibly exclusive) terms with WWE these days. But we can confirm Moné will be at Walter Pyramid for next month’s show, because New Japan announced it too.
It's official!@mercedesvarnado will be in action May 21 in Long Beach at Resurgence!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 24, 2023
Get your tickets NOW!https://t.co/iZXSHF6c1U#njresurgence pic.twitter.com/d2CX0u8VOu
“In action” means she’s wrestling, but we don’t know who. Our guess would be something that helps set-up a bigger match later on in the summer — possibly on June’s AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door in Toronto — but that’s just fantasy booking at this point.
Resurgence is supposed to have a match with Forbidden Door ramifications, as that’s where Will Ospreay is scheduled to face Hiroshi Tanahashi in a mini-tournament to determine who will challenge Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States title at the co-promoted PPV. Tanahashi’s rib injury could lead to changes to that match, but it will likely still produce an opponent for Lance Archer in the #1 contenders match at New Japan’s Dominion show on June 4 in Osaka.
However that shakes out, get ready for more Moné in NJPW. Spliffs optional.