Mercedes Moné On WWE Departure – “I Had To Have A Change”
Mercedes Moné has opened up about why she chose to leave WWE while noting that she felt like she had to change things up in her career.
Fans of WWE know Mercedes Moné as a different name – Sasha Banks. During her WWE run that lasted nearly a decade, “The Boss” was a big star from the time she started in NXT in 2012 when she was just 20 years old.
During her WWE career, Mercedes did it all as a five-time Raw Women’s Champion five times, Smackdown Women’s Champion, three-time Women’s Tag Team Champion and NXT Women’s Champion. She also was a WrestleMania headliner at WrestleMania 37 when she lost the Smackdown Women’s Title to Bianca Belair.
In May 2022, while she was a Women’s Tag Team Champion with Naomi, Mercedes wasn’t happy with the creative direction of the tag team division, so Naomi and herself decided to walk out of the company. In the months that followed, especially after Triple H took over WWE’s creative direction from Vince McMahon in July, there were plenty of rumors of a Sasha/Naomi comeback. However, it didn’t happen.
At New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 event in January, Mercedes Moné appeared to make her NJPW debut by confronting IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI. In her first NJPW match last month, Mercedes beat KAIRI to become the new IWGP Women’s Champion at Battle In The Valley.
During a Q&A at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, Mercedes Moné made it clear that nobody knows the story of her WWE departure while making it clear she is living her dream.
“First of all, nobody knows the story. You don’t know the story, but you’re reading whatever you want to read and believe whatever you want to believe. Nobody knows the story because I haven’t said anything, and I’m not going to say anything because that’s just the classy boss that I am. The CEO, but one thing, it’s up to them. It’s up to Dakota (Kai). It’s up to everybody else to come back. That’s great for them. That’s awesome.”
As she continued, Mercedes Moné spoke about how other women may have a dream of competing in WWE, but she has a different dream especially after spending nearly ten years in WWE.
“That’s their dream, but I went after mine, which was going to Japan. You have to follow your heart and follow your soul and follow your dreams, and this was always a dream of mine that I never got to accomplish. As I’m growing in my career, I’d been in the WWE for almost ten years. I had to have a change.”
“I had to feel something different in my heart and my soul. I had to go after a whole new dream and a whole new chapter and a whole new destiny for me, and this is what I wanted for me, and this is what I wanted to make happen for me, that’s it. This is what I’m going for. This is my dream.”
It is believed that the 31-year-old Mercedes Moné has a per appearance deal with NJPW, which would allow her to work in other places if they can come to some sort of agreement. That has led to fans of other promotions wanting to see Mercedes wrestling in new places, but so far no announcements have been made.