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Mercedes Monè, Formerly WWE’s Sasha Banks, Makes AEW Debut — Who Did She Call Out?

Mercedes Varnado is All Elite.

The wrestler formerly known as Sasha Banks made her AEW debut Wednesday night during the live event AEW Big Business under the moniker Mercedes Monè.

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“Thanks for having my back these past two years,” she told the hometown crowd in Boston, Ma. “You want to know why I’m here? Because I need to be here. I want to be here, the only place where this revolution can be global, and we’re going to make that happen. You see, I’ve been watching week upon week and everybody in that locker room, and I can’t wait to tear it up with every single one of you.”

Addressing Willow Nightingale, she added, “You and I have a lot of unfinished business.”

Later, after Willow defeated Riho in the main event, the self-proclaimed CEO came to Willow’s defense while she was being attacked by Julia Hart and Skye Blue. Monè then planted Hart to the mat with her new finishing move, the Monè Maker.

Varnado first wrestled as Mercedes Monè in January 2023 during New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s pay per view Wrestle Kingdom 17. She later defeated Kairi to become the IWGP Women’s Championship at NJPW’s Battle in the Valley on Feb. 18 of that year. Monè then lost the title to Mayu Iwatani at All Star Grand Queendom and sustained an ankle injury during her match against Willow Nightingale at the pay-per-view event Resurgence in May 2023.

Vernado’s NJPW arrival came after she (as Sasha Banks) walked out on a live taping of Monday Night Raw in May 2022 with her tag team partner Trinity Fatu, who wrestles under the name Naomi. The pair, who were the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions at the time, were then suspended indefinitely, and veteran announcer Michael Cole revealed that there would be a tournament to crown the new champs. Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah defeated Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai and IYO SKY) on the August 29, 2022 edition of Raw to become the new champs.

Fatu returned to WWE as Naomi at the Royal Rumble in January 2024 after a successful run with IMPACT Wrestling — now rebranded as TNA Wrestling — where she won the TNA Knockouts World Championship.

Varnado is a former NXT Women’s Champion, WWE RAW Women’s Champion (5x’s), WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion (3x’s).

Star Wars fans will also recognize Varnado as The Mandalorian’s Koska Reeves.

How do you feel about Mercedes Monè joining AEW? Sound off below! 

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