Mercedes Monè is the new IWGP Women’s Championship has switched hands!
KAIRI defended her title against Mercedes Monè (formerly Sasha Banks in WWE) at NJPW Battle in the Valley. The confrontation between Monè and KAIRI after Tam Nakano’s match at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17—where Monè was making her NJPW debut—set up the fight. The challenge was made after Monè set KAIRI up and raised the IWGP Women’s Title.
Mercedes was literally THIS CLOSE! #njBITV pic.twitter.com/okHqoX3nUM — FITE (@FiteTV) February 19, 2023
At Battle in the Valley, both women displayed impressive performances. KAIRI performed some impressive aerial moves and power bombed Mercedes through a table. A Three Amigos, a Bayley-to-Belly, and finally a Mone Maker were among Mercedes’ highlights, and the latter would give her the victory. Mercedes wins and becomes the second female IWGP champion in history.
Respect is shown. #njBITV pic.twitter.com/godN39PJEl — FITE (@FiteTV) February 19, 2023
Mercedes hadn’t competed since a Tag Team Match at a WWE Sunday Stunner house show on May 15, 2022. On May 16, she and Naomi quit WWE, but she hasn’t said anything about it.
KAIRI won the first IWGP Women’s Championship, which she held for 91 days. She won the title by defeating Mayu Iwatani at the NJPW/Stardom Historic X-Over event on November 20.