Mercedes Moné
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Dax Harwood Discusses Mercedes Moné’s IWGP Women’s Title Win

Dax Harwood praises Mercedes Moné following her return to the ring at NJPW Battle in the Valley.

At the NJPW event on February 18, Moné defeated KAIRI to win the IWGP Women’s Championship. The bout marked the first time she wrestled since she walked out of the May 16 episode of WWE RAW in 2022.

Speaking on FTR with Dax Harwood, the former IWGP Tag Team Champion shared his thoughts on the match. Harwood made it clear that he was proud of Moné, and he noted that he could relate to her journey because he and Cash Wheeler, like Moné, left WWE, and he believed they all came out better on the other side.

“One of my very best friends in the world got to make her dreams come true [at NJPW Battle in the Valley],” Harwood said. “I watched, obviously, and I was so proud of Mercedes. I was so proud of what she accomplished. She set out to do this. For as long as I can remember, it’s been 11 years, she has said this is what she’s wanted to. This is where she’s wanted to go.

“This is her wrestling. She loves Japan, she loves New Japan. Being able to leave, Cash and myself, we can feel with her because we know exactly how that feels. We left our dream job and we left the comfort of a dream job. It’s almost cliché to say now, and I hate even saying it but that’s because I can’t think of another word, but we bet on our ourselves, and I feel like we came out better on the other side for it. I think Mercedes is doing the same and will do the same thing.

Later in the show, Harwood discussed Moné’s title win and emphasized how Mercedes’ emotions were apparent, and he could feel it. He praised the match and highlighted both the wrestling and the athleticism it showcased

“You could see the emotion from curtain to curtain. You could see how much it meant to her,” Harwood said. “You could see how much it meant to KAIRI, too. This was Mercedes’ dream, for as long as I’ve known her. So watching it, I could feel the emotion. I took a picture of me watching the show this morning, and I sent it to her because I could feel what she was putting out, and that’s what you want in wrestling. You want them to feel what you’re feeling in that moment.

“I loved the match. I thought it was probably the best women’s match I’ve seen this year. They were given time, they sold everything perfectly. They started out the match with wrestling. That was such a breath of fresh air to me. But they’re both so athletically gifted that they also incorporated that athleticism into their wrestling, which I thought was flawless and seamless.

Harwood went on to call the bout it one of the best matches he’s seen in 2022 up to this point. When asked whether Moné proved that she was a star who could carry the show, Harwood answered by stating that NJPW’s decision to center Battle in the Valley around her paid off in a big way. He stated that the company should put the “foot to the petal” with the women’s division because he knows Moné will carry it.

“Absolutely. When they announced her, the building sold out, isn’t that right? They centered this show, even though she didn’t go on last, they centered this show around her, and it paid off big time for her, for KAIRI, and for New Japan,” Harwood said. “Now I think is the time for New Japan to put the foot to the pedal on the women’s division, after seeing this and what Mercedes and KAIRI both delivered in the ring, but also what the star power of Mercedes brings to the company. Gas on the pedal, let’s go full bore with this women’s division and see what else Mercedes can do. I know for a fact she’ll load it up on her back and carry it.”

RELATED: Mercedes Moné Comments On IWGP Title Win At ‘Battle In The Valley’

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