Home Sports AEW Double or Nothing predictions, preview: Mercedes Moné says ‘I’m ready to go’ ahead of in-ring debut for Tony Khan’s company

AEW Double or Nothing predictions, preview: Mercedes Moné says ‘I’m ready to go’ ahead of in-ring debut for Tony Khan’s company

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Mercedes Moné makes her AEW debut during an episode of

Mercedes Moné makes her AEW debut during an episode of “Dynamite” (Lee South/AEW)

The last time Mercedes Moné fought, things couldn’t have gone much worse. Moné, who has been among professional wrestling’s top stars for the better part of a decade, suffered a serious ankle injury, was carried out of the ring in Long Beach, California and has not performed in the ring at a wrestling event. wrestling since then. .

That was last May. It was also almost the end of her career, as what was initially believed to be her broken ankle left her bedridden for months and her future in doubt.

“(Being told you’re so hurt) is the hardest thing you can hear in your entire life,” Moné told Yahoo Sports. “I was really shocked when the doctor told me that. I was even surprised to hear that he was so hurt. “Wrestling is my everything, it is my passion, so I had to fight again.”

There was surgery, rehabilitation and, since December, training to re-acclimate to a space he has dominated in the past.

It would be understandable if there was a little hesitation on your part. But, anyone who knows Moné, whose real name is Mercedes Varnado, knows that there was nothing that would prevent her from returning to the place where she will be this Sunday at AEW’s “Double or Nothing” PPV.

“It took me a year to get back into the ring,” Moné said. “I’ve been training since December, so I feel very, very good. Really prepared mentally, really prepared physically and really excited to make my in-ring debut. I’m excited to show the world and the fans a whole new side of Mercedes Moné. There is a completely new opportunity in my career to make things happen that I have always dreamed of. “I’m ready to do it.”

That’s not to say that even for a multi-time women’s champion with 14 years of experience under her belt, there isn’t some trepidation after a long layoff, arduous recovery and having to deal with sky-high expectations. .

“I’ve had days where I’ve sat there and cried, saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m finally here,’ Moné said. “I’ve also had nervous moments because it’s been a year and I really don’t know what to expect. I can do all the training I want, but fighting in front of a crowd is something completely different. You can’t train for it, you just have to go out and do it. I trust my instinct, my soul and my body to remind me that I was born to do this and not be afraid.”

Moné broke into the industry through the independent scene in the early 2010s before helping spark a revolution in women’s wrestling in WWE, where she became one of the industry’s biggest stars as Sasha Banks. . After leaving the company in 2022, rumors and speculation ran rampant about where she would sign one of the hottest free agents.

It’s unclear how long (if at all) Moné’s ankle injury delayed her signing and debut with Tony Khan’s wrestling promotion, but after an appearance on “All In” last summer, she was a inevitable conclusion where he would end up in the future. Throughout AEW’s relatively short history, a newly signed talent’s first appearance in the company often comes as a surprise debut: Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, and Jon Moxley are just a few who fit the bill.

For Moné, the company created a themed episode of its flagship show, “Dynamite,” in March. Titled “Big Business” and held at the TD Garden in “Bo$$ton,” the Internet’s worst-kept secret became a reality when Moné debuted in front of a raucous home crowd.

“Nothing can remain a secret when it comes to me,” Moné said. “I thought it was the most perfect debut. It was in Boston, at the TD Garden. I have so many memories there. I was the first woman to star in a PPV in that building. I went there as a kid, watched wrestling and knew I would be in that ring one day. It was one of the best moments of my career and when I think about that day, I get goosebumps and I am very excited.”

Now, more than two months later, Moné is on the cusp of her first in-ring action in a year, and her match at “Double or Nothing” is against TBS champion Willow Nightingale, the same opponent she faced when He suffered his ankle. injury at NJPW “Resurgence” in 2023. It’s a moment Nightingale reminded Moné and fans of her two weeks ago on “Dynamite,” in a well-received contract signing between the two women.

Moné, the self-proclaimed “CEO,” also used her platform to remind the wrestling universe who she is, referencing (not by name, of course) her signature WWE match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn in 2015. .

She has the chance to do it again, as Sunday’s TBS Championship match will be as anticipated as any women’s match in AEW history, and has the potential to be the biggest in the history of AEW’s “Double or Nothing” event. the company, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this weekend. Moné and Nightingale have a chance to up their games and get fans talking again for an instant classic.

“I want them to leave knowing that AEW is where the best fight is,” Moné said. “I want you to know that women’s wrestling is going to be very exciting here in AEW because I am here and I want it to be special and different. Everyone here at AEW, especially the women’s division, wants the same thing, so keep supporting us, keep joining the mission and we will take off.”

Christian Cage against Swerve Strickland (c.) for the AEW World Championship – The deck is stacked against Swerve, who is arguably AEW’s most popular star right now. Going out of his way, overcoming all the odds and leaving Double or Nothing as AEW World Champion is the right move to make him one of the faces of the company. Prediction: Swerve retains the AEW Championship

Mercedes Moné vs. Willow Nightingale (c.) for the TBS Championship – Moné’s win here could set up a possible trilogy between the two and allow the CEO to lean even further into her heel persona. Moné doesn’t need the belt as much as a win to establish a level of dominance as a relative newcomer to AEW. Prediction: Mercedes Moné wins the TBS Championship

Will Ospreay against Roderick Strong (c.) for the AEW International Championship – I don’t think we should overcomplicate things or make too intense a case for Ospreay. He will be at the top of the company sooner rather than later and a championship victory over Strong is just the latest step on that journey. Prediction: Will Ospreay wins the AEW International Championship

Serena Deeb against “Timeless” Toni Storm (c.) for the AEW Women’s World Championship – While it would be a bit ironic for Storm to lose after setting up this match by throwing in the towel for Mariah May earlier this month, her run on “Timeless” has been very strong and I predict her reign will continue. Deeb seemingly broke with Wednesday’s “Dynamite,” looking strong heading into the match, but Storm is likely to emerge as Las Vegas champion. Prediction: ‘Timeless’ Toni Storm retains the AEW Women’s Championship

Malakai Black vs. Adam Copeland (c.) in a barbed wire and steel cage match for the TNT Championship – The story built here has been Black and the House of Black trying to convince Copeland to tap into a more violent side, which we saw in the Homecoming episode of Dynamite. That will certainly happen during this match and I can see Copeland winning, but giving the House of Black exactly what they wanted and joining forces with the faction. Prediction: Adam Copeland retains the TNT Championship

Death Triangle vs. Bang Bang Gang for the Undisputed Trios Championship – This match took place last Wednesday when Pac met with Penta and Rey Fenix ​​​​to challenge Jay White and the Gunns. It’s the first Death Triangle match in over a year and I expect the six men involved to put on an epic show. Death Triangle will likely emerge victorious and begin another Trios reign. Prediction: Death Triangle wins the Undisputed Trios Championship

Hook vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Chris Jericho (c.) for the FTW Championship – A bit off in the sense that this felt like a setup for a one-on-one match between Hook and Jericho, Shibata’s presence could allow the brewing rivalry between the two to simmer a little more. Jericho, who began this story as a mentor-like character, could draw on his decades of experience to immobilize Shibata while Hook is protected. Prediction: Chris Jericho retains the FTW Championship

Anarchy in the Arena – The Elite vs. Team AEW – Elite’s hostile takeover of AEW should continue with a win in the Anarchy in the Arena match. However, depending on when this match takes place, the card could indicate how it plays out. If this is the main event, I won’t rule out a Team AEW win with the help of a returning MJF in the biggest upset of the night. Prediction: The elite wins

Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita – The stipulation here is that if Takeshita wins, he will get a shot at Moxley’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but it ensures that Moxley will lose and potentially set up a rematch at Forbidden Door next month. Prediction: Konosuke Takeshita wins

Orange Cassidy vs. Trent Beretta – Orange Cassidy doesn’t put on bad matches, so even though there is no championship on the line and no stipulation involved, this match should be good. Perhaps the most emotional contest on the card, Cassidy standing over his former friend after a grueling battle is the outcome to expect here. Prediction: Orange Cassidy wins

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