Backstage Update On Relationship Between Mercedes Mone And AEW

Plans for Mercedes Mone (formerly known as Sasha Banks) in AEW may not be coming to fruition as they were once reported. During a Q&A on Friday, Fightful Select's Sean Ross Sapp said that "the once working plans for AEW and Mercedes are no longer working plans." Sapp also said that he hasn't heard about any talks between the former Banks and WWE, but has heard she's asking for a lot of money.

Mone's first (and, so far, last) appearance in an AEW capacity came on the "Zero Hour" pre-show for All In back in August, when the injured star was seen sitting in the crowd and her name was shown on an on-screen graphic. Mone has been battling an ankle injury that occurred shortly after her run with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and STARDOM began. Mone lost a match against Willow Nightingale for the just-created NJPW Strong Women's Championship in May, reportedly calling an in-ring audible for Nightingale to win the match. Prior to the injury, Mone had been rumored to appear at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, and as of August, there were reportedly talks between Mone and AEW following her pre-show appearance, with the star being "open" to working with the company. At the time, a source was "optimistic" about talks between the two sides for a formal relationship, and another source said it was "in the works." There has been little in the way of concrete updates since that time.

Mone walked out of WWE alongside then-tag team championship partner Trinity (formerly known as Naomi in WWE) in May 2022. The pair were then reportedly indefinitely suspended without pay before being quietly released. Mone is a seven-time WWE women's champion who also held women's tag team gold three times during her tenure with the company.