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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez is a veteran in women’s wrestling. The current Ring of Honor Women’s Champion has wrestled for 22 years in practically every major U.S. organization. Martinez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, grew up in Connecticut and attended college in the state. After sustaining an injury while playing basketball in college, she decided to give professional wrestling a try.

Martinez started training in 2000 and also had her first match the same year. She mostly competed for promotions on the East Coast including Connecticut Professional Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, IWA Mid-South, and New England Championship Wrestling. On November 6, 2005, Mercedes competed in the first ever Shimmer event where she faced Sara Del Rey. The two women went to a 20-minute time limit draw.

Martinez made her Ring of Honor debut in 2006 where she stayed for almost two years. She also debuted for Women Superstars Uncensored in 2007 and would wrestle for the company until 2018. While working for WSU, she won the Women Superstars Uncensored Championship a record three times and also won the All Guts No Glory Championship once. She continued wrestling for Shimmer and WSU for a number of years until she briefly retired for two years. She came out of retirement in 2016 to capture the Shimmer Championship against Madison Eagles.

Mercedes entered WWE’s Mae Young Classic in 2017. She defeated Xia Li in the first round, Princesa Sugehit in the second round, and Abbey Laith in the third round. She was eliminated from the tournament in the semi-finals when she was defeated by Shayna Baszler. Martinez returned to WWE the following year when she competed in the second Mae Young Classic.

This time, she eliminated Ashley Rayne (Madison Rayne) in the first round but was defeated by Meiko Satomura in the second round. In 2019, she had a brief stint with AEW. She was the Joker in the Casino Battle Royale at All Out 2019. Martinez was eliminated from the match by Britt Baker and only had one other match on AEW Dark when she teamed with Big Swole in a losing effort against Allie and Sadie Gibbs.

She signed a contract with WWE in 2020 and was assigned to NXT. Martinez had a few feuds and ended up getting her first win on NXT against Kacy Catanzaro.

She temporarily joined the Robert Stone Brand but turned heel and was booted out. Martinez debuted as Retaliation on Monday Night Raw, September 21, 2020. Shortly after her debut, she asked to be removed from the group and went back to NXT. She was released from her contract with WWE on August 6th, 2021.

Martinez made her Impact debut on October 7th, 2021. While in Impact, she earned herself a title shot against Mickie James at Turning Point 2021, which Martinez ultimately lost.

On January 6, 2022, she lost her final Impact match to Deonna Purazzo. On December 29, 2021, she helped Jade Cargill beat Thunder Rosa. Mercedes would face Willow Nightingale at Supercard of Honor XV to determine the interim Ring of Honor Women’s Championship as Deonna Purazzo couldn’t attend.

A match to determine the undisputed Ring of Honor Women’s Champion was set between Martinez and Purazzo on the May 4th, 2022, edition of AEW Dynamite. Mercedes was victorious and has held many successful championship defenses including a victory over Serena Deeb at Death Before Dishonor.


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