Former WWE star Mercedes Mone, better known as Sasha Banks, was recently highlighted on AEW Dynamite television, marking her first appearance on AEW's broadcast. This unveiling was intriguingly tied to a recent event at NJPW STRONG Resurgence, where she suffered a potentially severe injury, preventing her from adding another championship to her well-laden trophy case.
At NJPW STRONG Resurgence, hosted in Long Beach, California, Mercedes Mone was a crucial participant in a single-night tournament intended to inaugurate the NJPW STRONG Women's Champion. Mone advanced to the finals, overcoming Stephanie Vaquer in a thrillsemifinalinal clash.
AEW competitor Willow Nightingale, who defeated Momo Kohgo in the otsemifinalinal, awaited Mone in the decisive battle.
Mercedes Mone's Unexpected Fall in Final
The championship match took a surprising turn as Mone and Nightingale found themselves in a precarious position atop the ropes.
Mone, unfortunately, lost her footing, leading to a disastrous fall outside the ring. Displaying impressive resilience, Mone continued the match despite her obvious discomfort, making a concerted effort to avoid putting weight on her injured leg.
Ultimately, she could not overcome Nightingale, who successfully executed two Doctor Bombs to secure an unexpected victory. Preliminary reports suggest that Mone may have sustained a broken ankle during the fall, significantly altering the match's creative direction.
According to PWInsider, the original script saw Mone capturing the title; however, due to her injury, an "audible" was called, leading to Nightingale celebrating the most significant win of her career. Following the match, AEW Dynamite aired footage of the tournament.
While primarily focusing on Nightingale's victory, the segment was also significant for featuring Mercedes Mone. This marked the first time she appeared on AEW television since her departure from WWE, fueling further speculation about her possible transition to Tony Khan's company.
Many fans anticipated Mone to appear in the upcoming crossover supershow with NJPW, dubbed the "Forbidden Door," in June. However, these expectations seem dashed with her current injury situation, adding another layer of anticipation and uncertainty to her wrestling journey.