If you’d prefer to listen to this article, you can on YouTube using the link below.
I have been resisting the urge to write anything about Mercedes Monè, just because if her coming to AEW fell through, it would age very poorly. And, I must admit, that while I’m not usually a superstitious person, I didn’t want to jinx it. But since Sean Ross Sapp and Andrew Zarian are now both saying that not only is a deal done but we know the date of her debut (March 13th), I feel okay to write this.
Feuds, not matches
For the purposes of this list, I differentiate between feuds and matches simply because if I were doing a list of Top 5 match opponents, it’d more or less just be a list of my 5 favourite wrestlers. For instance, Kris Statlander did not make this list, even though she’s easily one of my top 5 favourite wrestlers and I think that match would be outstanding. But I couldn’t think of a what would make a Statlander/Monè feud unique from a storyline perspective other than “the match will bang”.
With that, here’s my Top 5 anticipated feuds for Mercedes Monè…
5: Timeless Toni Storm
Despite them both being in WWE, the only time Sasha Banks and Toni Storm got screen time together was a tag match on Smackdown where they teamed together and a couple Survivor Series
clusterfuck Elimination matches. Wild. Without her “Timeless” gimmick, Toni Storm would’ve ranked high in my most anticipated matches with Mercedes Monè but not necessarily feuds. But since this is Timeless Toni, I’d be so excited to see how this character interprets Mercedes Monè’s own persona of grandeur and also ups her game in the attire department. With Timeless Toni’s tendency for going imperceptibly blue combined with Monè’s penchant for more having a more low rise cut to her gear, I’d be disappointed if she didn’t make some crack about “grooming habits”. And of course, these two could have an incredible match as well, but I think there’d be a lot of entertaining bits to be had in building to it.
4: Willow Nightingale
This one writes itself, doesn’t it? Thanks to a real life fluke ankle injury, Willow beat Mercedes at NJPW Resurgence to win the NJPW Strong Women’s Title, a belt which at the time felt like it was made just for Mercedes. A revenge match feels necessary here. I do wonder if the Strong title could make a reappearance since it’s being currently held by Giulia who is supposedly on her way out of Stardom. Probably not though. In any case, Mercedes getting revenge and calling Willow’s win a “fluke” is more than is needed to get this feud hot! Since the rumours of Mercedes to AEW started swirling I’ve been keeping an eye on Willow’s moves in AEW as this seems like a pretty logical first feud. But it could also be one that Monè gets around to eventually. Like a “You didn’t think I forgot, did you?” type of thing.
3: Hikaru shida
AEW’s “Ace” has earned the right to feel protective of her company and be something of a gatekeeper. If Mercedes comes in as a heel, she can act like Shida was a big fish in a small pond, claiming that if she were in AEW, Shida wouldn’t have any title reigns let alone 3. It’s a bit of a bury job but it’s something the real character would probably feel and would force a good response from Shida in the form of an asskicking match. This is the type of feud that can happen early to welcome Monè into AEW or be one after she wins a few in a row and Shida decides she’s seen enough and feels obliged to step up. No bad way and no bad time for this feud. And definitely no bad time to see this match!
2: dr. Britt Baker, DMD
The Britt Baker redemption tour will be in full swing in 2024. Too many of her haters online have gone unchecked for far too long. Baker is unmatched on the mic and, much like in her feud against Saraya, I wouldn’t mind seeing Britt try the same tactic: To push back on Monè even being there and putting herself over as a “day one” AEW wrestler. Britt can even ask Mercedes why, when she left WWE, didn’t she come directly to AEW? Why’d she go to NJPW and Stardom? Insinuate that she didn’t think she could match up. I’d love to see how Mercedes handles this whether she takes the high road and doubles down just saying she goes where the money is. Either way, she’s putting AEW over. With any luck, this will be Mercedes’ first big feud in AEW. Seeing Britt Baker and Mercedes Monè go head-to-head on the mic, trying to win the perception war would be a true iron-sharpens-iron moment for them both and you know Britt will never give an inch.
1: Jamie Hayter
Whether this was Top 5 Matches or Top 5 Feuds, it was always going to be Jamie Hayter in that #1 slot. Jamie Hayter had an organic rise to superstardom in AEW that I don’t think we’ve seen since—man or woman. She was white hot until the moment she needed to leave for injury. Hayter and Monè both have the All In connection. Jamie’s absence from All In both as the company’s top female star and being from the UK was noticeable. Meanwhile, Mercedes’ first (as of now sole) appearance on AEW TV was at All In. This match has a “year in the making” feel and should take place at All In 2024. It should also be for the World Title. The build doesn’t need to be mazy in the least. Just two of the top women wrestlers in the world coming to a head and AEW’s biggest show of the year. Although I suppose if Hayter & Britt Baker are still tight, I’d welcome in a hint of suspicion of a Britt Baker heel turn.
So that’s my list. Do you have a feud you’d like to see even more? You can let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter/X at @aew_one. Thanks for reading and, as always, remember to let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them.