AEW President Tony Khan has discussed the injury suffered by Mercedes Mone and says he and Mone were the only two people who knew what her status was for the upcoming Forbidden Door show.
At NJPW STRONG Resurgence, Mercedes Mone had the chance to add yet another championship to her CV but disaster struck leading to a potentially serious injury.
The former IWGP Women’s Champion was part of a one-night tournament in Long Beach, California to crown the inaugural NJPW STRONG Women’s Champion. Mercedes Mone booked her place in the final when she defeated Stephanie Vaquer while AEW star Willow Nightingale overcame Momo Kohgo in the other semi-final.
During the final of that tournament, both Mone and Nightingale were perched precariously on the top rope when the former WWE star appeared to lose her footing and fell to the outside of the ring. Mercedes Mone continued the match, avoiding putting weight on her leg, and eventually succumbed to two Doctor Bombs from Nightingale as the AEW star picked up the surprise win.
Reports suggest that Mone has suffered a broken ankle but PWInsider has also reported that the injury caused a major creative shift in the match with Mercedes Mone originally set to capture the title but an audible was called to have Nightingale pick up the biggest win of her career.
Speaking on the pre-Double or Nothing media call, Tony Khan addressed Mercedes Mone’s original status for the upcoming AEW/NJPW crossover Forbidden Door show while noting that he hopes to make good use of Willow Nightingale in AEW now that she has a title to her name:
“Going forward, it does make things interesting because nobody really knows, besides Mercedes and myself what was going to happen there and what the future would hold for her, whether that was competing exclusively for New Japan or potentially also whether she would be at Forbidden Door.
“Frankly, now, even going forward, I don’t think anybody but her knows when she’ll be ready to come back to the ring. I have so much respect for Mercedes and I think she’s been a great champion all over the world, including New Japan. She would have been a great first-ever STRONG Women’s Champion, but I think we have a great champion in Willow and we’ll look to utilize Willow in AEW and possibly ROH, and take advantage of that new beautiful belt she’s holding.”
Forbidden Door will take place in the sold-out Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the 25th of June.