Despite the rumours in recent weeks, it looks like Mercedes Mone might not be joining AEW after all according to a new report.
When Saraya was tasked with finding a tag team partner to face Dr. Britt Baker DMD and AEW Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter on the 11th of January edition of Dynamite, many believed that meant Sasha Banks was about to become All Elite.
However, the former WWE star has since debuted as Mercedes Mone in New Japan Pro Wrestling and announced that she will be challenging IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI for her gold at Battle In The Valley on the 18th of February.
On Dynamite in Seattle, Saraya joined Renee Paquette for an interview alongside Hikaru Shida and Toni Storm. During proceedings, Saraya revealed that Storm would be her mystery partner – a revelation that seemed to annoy Shida.
Now speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer has explained why he thinks AEW was forced to name a partner and why he thinks Mercedes Mone may not have wanted to sign with the company:
“I have heard denials from AEW, people in the match. They knew that it was really screwed because – that’s why they had to announce somebody this week. Because they knew it was really screwed because everyone was thinking it was [Mercedes Mone], and it wasn’t her.”
“I also know from WWE that they, basically, they are very strongly under the impression that she will not wrestle for AEW. They think that she’s coming back at some point and she’ll get this out of her system, she’ll do her New Japan matches, because she’s only contracted for a couple of matches, and then come back.”
“But if she’s going to AEW, she’s going to have to sign for three years minimum. For AEW it would be really stupid to put her on TV if she’s going to go back in six months. I don’t know that she wants to make that commitment that she can’t go back.”
“With New Japan, for a short-term deal for just a couple of dates, yeah she can go back at the end of that deal. But when it comes to an AEW deal for a couple of years, she can’t go back for a couple of years.”
“That’s the impression. What will happen? I just know that everyone was pretty… over in Japan and everything, everybody was pretty much saying this is just a New Japan deal and it’s not an AEW deal.”
It should be noted that other reports – such as from DAZN’s Steven Muehlhausen – suggest that Mercedes Mone will still be Saraya’s partner despite what was announced on Dynamite.