Sometimes in the world of pro wrestling, we wait for that moment when we are naturally excited for a superstar to finally get their shot at the big time. Today is one of those feel-good stories we will remember forever. After competing in the Mae Yong Classic for two years straight, former Rise and SHIMMER champion Mercedes Martinez signs with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
A 20-year in-ring veteran, Mercedes has wrestled for every major wrestling promotion possible throughout the United States. Trained by former ECW superstar Jason Knight, Martinez has accumulated one of the most extensive resumes in professional wrestling including 25 championships, Rank #2 in PWI’s Female 50 in 2011 and more recently, Rank #10 of the top 10 Women’s Wrestlers of 2019.
Martinez first came on WWE’s radar when she was added to the first annual Mae Young Classic in 2017 and was immediately considered a favorite to win the event. After defeating current NXT superstar Xia Li, CMLL great Princesa Sugehit and independent wrestling legend Kimber Lee, she lost to eventual tournament runner-up Shayna Bazler in an instant classic.
As reported by SoCalUncensored’s Steve Bryant, Mercedes is expected to start her new career in NXT by the end of this month. We look forward to seeing Martinez back in an NXT ring real soon and fully expect her to be as dominant as she was in the tournament.
Woah. This is probably the biggest news since John Morrison signed back with the company. WWE makes a major play here picking up a veteran like Martinez for the NXT brand. To be honest, Martinez is 39 years old, which in wrestling years can still be considered young but with the steady rise of the women’s brand, may put her back a bit.
While I fully expect her to make an impact on day one, I also see Martinez going the same route Sara Del Ray did and become a coach. Even similar to Tomasso Ciampa, as Triple H discussed on Corey Graves’ podcast, where she may not be called up but becomes a player/coach in a sense in NXT.
The major loss here in AEW, who prominently featured Martinez at All Out and in an AEW Dark match. I assumed she would eventually get a contract there and bolster a somewhat weaker division but no longer the case. Congrats to Mercedes Martinez as she signs with the WWE. This will hopefully lead to her becoming a staple in NXT.