AEW Star Becomes Inaugural NJPW STRONG Women’s Champion

Toni Storm Willow Nightingale Ruby Soho AEW

Mercedes Mone was no doubt the favorite to become the first-ever NJPW STRONG Women’s Champion at Resurgence but one AEW star had other plans.

Mone has taken NJPW by storm since first appearing for the company back at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th where she announced her intention to challenge KAIRI for the IWGP Women’s Championship. Mone won that title in February before going on to lose the belt to Mayu Iwatani at Stardom All Star Grand Queendom in April.

NJPW then announced that the STRONG brand would be getting its own women’s title and Mercedes Mone was part of a four-woman tournament at Resurgence to crown the first champion.

In the semi-finals, Mone defeated Stephanie Vaquer while Momo Kohgo lost to AEW star Willow Nightingale, setting up a big final. Ultimately it was Nightingale who shocked the crowd in Long Beach, California when she delivered two Doctor Bombs to the former WWE star to pick up the win and the championship.

However, the title win has been somewhat overshadowed by a serious injury suffered by Mercedes Mone during her match with Nightingale. It is not yet known if that injury had any bearing in the finish of the match being altered or if the AEW fan favorite picking up the win was always the plan.