Mercedes Moné, formerly known as Sasha Banks, had a night to forget at NJPW Resurgence 2023. The former WWE and IWGP Women’s Champion was competing in the finals of the one-night tournament to crown the inaugural NJPW Strong Women’s Champion, but she ended up leaving the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California, with a broken ankle.
How did the injury happen?
The injury occurred during the main event match between Moné and Willow Nightingale. Moné was attempting to execute a powerbomb from the top rope, but she slipped and fell awkwardly to the outside, landing on her right leg.
— 💸👑✨💯Rasheed💯✨👑💸 (@RDB_KING1) May 22, 2023
Mercedes Moné was visibly in pain and had trouble getting back into the ring. She managed to finish the match, but she was limited by her injury. Nightingale capitalized on Moné’s condition and hit two death bombs to pin her and become the first-ever NJPW Strong Women’s Champion.
wishing mercedes a speedy recovery, she put on an absolutely incredible performance as always 🥲
+ congrats to willow she deserves this so much! both put on a BANGER. pic.twitter.com/Trli5EkVOy
— pau (@316REIGNS) May 22, 2023
After the match, Mercedes Moné was helped by the officials and carried out of the ring. According to PW Insider, she suffered a broken ankle during the match.
“The word making the rounds backstage at the NJPW event tonight is that Mercedes Moné suffered a broken ankle during the main event against Willow Nightgale.” H/T Wrestle Ops
What does this mean for Moné’s career?
Moné’s injury is a huge setback for her career, as she had been making waves in NJPW since her debut in January 2023 at Wrestle Kingdom 17. She was part of the historic women’s match at NJPW’s biggest show, where she defeated Mayu Iwatani to win the IWGP Women’s Championship.
Moné had been working part-time for NJPW, splitting her time between Japan and the US. She was one of the favorites to win the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship, which was created to showcase the women’s division in NJPW’s American branch. Her injury will likely keep her out of action for several months, depending on the severity and recovery time.
Mercedes Moné now commented on her injury you can watch it below. we wish her a speedy and full recovery. We hope to see her back in the ring soon and continue to impress fans with her talent and charisma.
— Mercedes Moné Varnado (@MercedesVarnado) May 22, 2023