Merecedes Martinez ended her time in NXT by putting over Rhea Ripley in a steel cage match. It was a fairly brief run on the black-and-gold brand, but that wasn’t terribly surprising given the years of experience she already had prior to signing with WWE.
Her main roster assignment was RETRIBUTION. For a couple weeks, Martinez was clearly one of the masked figures in the group trying to destroy WWE from within. She was even rumored to have a code name! But then suddenly, she wasn’t with T-BAR, SLAPJACK, MACE & RECKONING any longer. When Mercedes (or RETALIATION) wasn’t with the group after Mustafa Ali revealed himself as their leader, we knew she’d left the gimmick behind.
Rumor had it she asked out of the act. It was a move that made sense to everyone watching; why would a 40 year old trailblazer want to work on the biggest stage in the business under a goofy name and a goofier mask?
But despite talk of her reporting back to NXT, we haven’t seen her show up anywhere in almost two months. And this tweet she sent yesterday indicates there might be more to Martinez’s absence than a bad gimmick:
Just a reminder:— Mercedes Martinez (@RealMMartinez) November 19, 2020
I have asthma and a immunocompromised son, so PLEASE take Covid-19
Be safe, stay healthy.
Wash ur hands regularly.
AND.....WEAR YOUR MASKS for the safety of yourself and others like me and my son.
WWE’s improved their coronavirus protocols since the start of the pandemic, and we haven’t heard about an outbreak outside of NXT & the Performance Center the summer.
But traveling (Martinez lives in Connecticut) and wrestling lead to increased risk of exposure - risks it sounds like Mercedes understandably isn’t willing to take right now. And that’s without getting into reports of WWE personnel who aren’t committed to behaving responsibly for the sake of public health.
Whatever the reasons Martinez isn’t on our screens right now, here’s hoping she and her son stay healthy with COVID-19 cases surging nationwide.
And in an effort to keep as many of us as healthy as possible... as the Republican Governor of the state I live in likes to say, “just wear the damn masks.”