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Mercedes Mone Opens Up About Fan Criticism Over In-Ring Safety

One big thing: Mercedes Mone addresses past accusations of being an “unsafe” worker

Mercedes Mone, current AEW TBS and New Japan Strong Women’s Champion, recently reflected on a challenging period in her career when fans labeled her as “unsafe” following an incident in WWE.

The backstory:

• In December 2017, during a WWE live event, Mone’s kick to Saraya (then known as Paige) led to a neck injury that forced Saraya into a five-year retirement.
• The incident sparked criticism from some fans, questioning Mone’s in-ring safety.

What they’re saying:

Mone spoke candidly about the impact of these accusations in a recent interview with “Hot 97”:

“I was so depressed by that… it definitely sent me on a spiral of depression because wrestling has always been my goal and dream, and I’ve always wanted to be the greatest at it. So to hear any kind of noise that people might not think you’re safe… it wasn’t even the boys in the back, it was the fans thinking ‘You’re not safe.'”

Why it matters:

The incident and subsequent fan reaction highlight the intense scrutiny professional wrestlers face and the emotional toll it can take, even on established stars like Mone.

The bigger picture:

• Despite this setback, Mone has gone on to achieve significant success, including seven WWE Women’s Championship reigns and her current dual championship status in AEW and NJPW.
• Saraya has never held ill will towards Mone for the injury, and the two have maintained a positive relationship.
• Saraya has expressed interest in a future match with Mone, though they haven’t interacted since Mone joined AEW earlier this year.

The bottom line:

Mone’s openness about this challenging period in her career provides insight into the pressures wrestlers face and the resilience required to overcome setbacks in the industry.

How do you think this experience has shaped Mercedes Mone’s approach to her in-ring work? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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