A former WWE star made waves overnight as she debuted at New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 as Mercedes Mone’.
We previously reported on this potential event unfolding last month about Sasha Banks (real name Mercedes Varnado) being finished with WWE. That story also revealed a likely appearance at Wrestle Kingdom, but initially it wasn’t to be in the ring.
Sources are reporting that Varnado became a free agent on New Year’s Day after her contract with WWE quietly expired. With free agency, she is able to appear anywhere she wants.
Varnado made her debut as “The CEO” of the NJPW/Stardom women’s division under her new moniker.
Mone’ made her appearance following the completion of the IWGP Women’s Championship match between Tam Nakano and defending champion KAIRI.
Mone’ confronted KAIRI in the center of the ring, extended a handshake, and leveled her out with a move that was slightly botched.
Mone’ then gave a promo about her plans in New Japan and Stardom, also speaking of challenging for the championship.
In a post-show media scrum, Mone’ set the challenge for NJPW Battle in the Valley in San Jose, Calif. on February 18.
Night One of Wrestle Kingdom 17 was held in the Tokyo Dome, with over 26,000 in attendance. Night Two of the event will be on January 21 inside the Yokohama Arena.
Tickets for NJPW Battle in the Valley is available for sale now.