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We’re less than 48 hours from the January 11th episode of Dynamite from the Kia Forum in LA. We’re at a very interesting place with the whole Mercedes Monè situation and I feel like we’ve now gotten all the information we’re going to get prior to the show.
I thought I would take this last opportunity to put out my “official” prediction on how all this will play out.
Will Mercedes Monè debut in AEW on Dynamite this Wednesday?
In the end, I believe Tony Khan is way too smart to allow fans expectations to linger on like this. Some may say that it’s absolutely not Tony’s fault if fans jump to conclusions like this. But this tag match with the mystery partner was advertised over a month ago. There’s no way Tony didn’t know where fan’s minds would go and it’d be booking malpractice to set your own fans up for disappointment like that.
Also, as many have pointed out, as soon as Britt Baker said “I’m the boss” and then winked into the camera. That 100% sealed it for me. That said, it’s possible that Mercedes Monè may not sign full-time and just take on dates. But if I had to bet on it, we’ll be seeing that “Mercedes Monè is #AllElite” graphic this Wednesday night.
From there, I’ve tried to look at this from every angle… And I mean every angle… To figure out what exactly is going to happen not just with Monè but with the whole women’s division.
Does Mercedes Monè Replace Toni Storm as Saraya’s Partner?
It’s my belief that this whole mystery partner storyline has been setup to create the expectation of Mercedes showing up at Dynamite in a quasi First Dance type of move where she’s being advertised without actually advertising her. But I think having Hikaru Shida attack Toni Storm because of a single slight from Saraya betrays Shida’s long-term character. I just don’t see any way that Shida, as angry as she is, would be so pissed at Toni Storm that she would do a 180 and turn on Toni.
I think this is actually the beginning of a Hikaru Shida vs Saraya feud and if it were me booking it, I’d have Toni Storm get re-injured in this match and Shida blames Saraya, citing that this was too big a match for Toni to have as her first match back since being injured. Saraya is going to say that Shida is only mad because she wasn’t picked to be in the match. Next stop, Saraya vs Hikaru Shida at Revolution.
What about those front row tickets?
As you may or may not recall, when Britt Baker laid out the challenge, she tempted/teased Saraya with front row tickets to watch herself & Hayter instead of having a match. Almost as mysterious as who it’ll be is: Will Tony Khan just drop this story device entirely?
I want to give Tony Khan the benefit of the doubt and say he won’t just “drop” this. So does Mercedes Monè end up with one of those tickets? I try to envision how that would go and to be honest, the more I think about it, the less sense it makes to me that she’d be sitting there. I just don’t think that’s the impactful debut Tony would want to make with her. I think what makes the most sense is if Hikaru Shida is sitting in the front row for that match. Now, Britt Baker did say tickets-plural. So maybe it’s Shida & Saraya’s real-life bud Renée Paquette?
World Domination Tour
In her Wrestle Kingdom media scrum, Mercedes Monè says this is just her first stop and she’s on a world domination tour. She calls herself the CEO of NJPW’s women’s division and Stardom. I don’t think it fits this new character to be Saraya’s buddy who’s going to show up in AEW to do her friend a solid. I also don’t think you bring Mercedes Monè in to immediately start mixing it up with the AEW World Champion Jamie Hayter or the face of the division, Britt Baker. Not as a first match.
Furthermore, I also don’t think Tony Khan spends Mercedes Monè’s first match in AEW on “free” TV. I’m pretty sure he saves that for Revolution. I think he’s also aware of the fact that AEW fans’ preference for “AEW Originals” is strong at the moment and getting Mercedes booed (yes, she’d get booed) against Jamie Hayter or Britt Baker is not the way to start her AEW tenure. At the same time, even though Jade Cargill is an AEW Original, I think a lot of fans are ready for Jade’s streak to end (not me but I definitely see the sentiment out there) and for her to enter the next stage of her character.
Bow Where? & Red (velvet) herring
Jade Cargill’s past two months have been… confusing. Out of nowhere she started a feud with Bow Wow that at this point feels more like it will eventually make a good trivia question because of how forgettable it was. But sometimes I wonder if Tony Khan wrong foots us fans by making a storyline look like it’s been dropped only to bring it back suddenly. I also wonder if Bow Wow’s C-level celebrity status makes him the perfect conduit to bring Mercedes Monè into AEW under the radar. Remember that this whole storyline started at a time when Mercedes was under a no-compete. So if Tony Khan’s pursuing of Mercedes Monè fell short, they could repurpose the Bow Wow storyline for Red Velvet.
I had complained ad nauseam about the Jade/Red Velvet storyline a week ago because of how confusing it was as it made Jade’s character look either naive or not very smart. I think one of the traps all wrestling bookers fall into is giving you something bad on the way to something good. I don’t think it should be that way. I think even if we’re on the road to something great, the journey should be at least good and interesting. But I understand why that’s challenging. Taking it at face value, I’ve seen some fans, podcasters, etc. talk themselves into the idea that maybe Red Velvet would be a good person to end Jade’s streak. After all, Jade had her first match against her. Jade’s beat her several times. Maybe this whole “Baddie” thing was Red Velvet’s way of “keeping her enemy close” and she’s studied Jade and now thinks she knows how to defeat her. She got some good pointers from watching her face Skye Blue. But in saying that, as much as I’m excited for Red Velvet’s future, I don’t think this is the time for that big of a rub.
Mercedes Monè vs Jade Cargill
In my mind, this is the direction. And I think Tony Khan has purposely paced the Jade/Red storyline to have fans expecting that this is the week where Jade Cargill calls out Red Velvet. Instead, Mercedes Monè’s music hits and she comes out. She puts Jade over as having the most prestigious thing in all of pro wrestling: her streak. Mercedes says she wants the TBS Title and she wants to be the one to end Jade’s streak. And man, after that Jade Cargill vs Skye Blue match, there couldn’t be a better time to tease Jade Cargill vs Mercedes Monè!
To finish out the segment, I’d have Mercedes try to get physical with Jade like she did with Kairi at Wrestle Kingdom but Jade is able to power out, shoves Monè, goes for a pump kick but Mercedes is able to slide out of the ring. Between now and then, you could finish off the program with Red Velvet. Even though the winner can be assumed, Red could be a fun conduit to preview Cargill vs Monè, and would get Jade up to 49-0 which, perhaps, teases whether Jade would go 50-0 or that’d be spoiled and it’d be 49-1… Then again, Jade could easily crank out wins on Dark/Elevation between now and March 5th. Hell, she could be 55-0 by Revolution.
So that’s my prediction. In short: That Mercedes Monè will have absolutely nothing to do with the whole tag team match and instead will interrupt Jade Cargill on the January 11th episode of Dynamite. But what do you think? Are you going with the theory that Shida take out Toni Storm leading to Mercedes Monè being Saraya’s tag partner? Let me know your theory either in the comments below or find me on Twitter at @aew_one.
Thanks for reading and, as always, make sure you let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them!