This past weekend at NJPW: Resurgence, Mercedes Mone battled AEW star Willow Nightingale in a match to crown the first-ever NJPW Strong Women’s Champion. In the end, Nightingale pulled out a surprise victory and defeated the former Sasha Banks but it does not appear that is how things were supposed to play out. During the match, Mone climbed to the top rope, where Nightingale was perched, and slipped while trying to hit a high-risk maneuver.
PWInsider first reported that Mone suffered a broken ankle during the fall. That report was confirmed earlier this morning on Wrestling Observer Radio, where it was noted Mone was likely scheduled to win the match but they could not confirm that 100%.
It seemed that way, however, because the referee conducted a slow pinfall when Nightingale initially tried to end the match with a powerbomb after Mone’s injury, probably because the ref were confused that Mone was losing. The official did get the count correct after Nightingale leveled Mone with a second gut-wrench powerbomb and became the inaugural champion.
Meltzer also noted that Mone has signed a new deal with NJPW but is unsure of the length, or the number of dates, that was agreed to.
In the wake of the surprise loss, both Mone and Nightingale have taken to Twitter to react to the situation.
“WRESTLING!!!!” Mone began. “Phew (sad emoji) not how I dreamed for tonight to go. I’m so sorry and I love you guys so much. I’m gonna heal and be back better than ever. Moné. (blue heart emoji)@njpwglobal.”
Nightingale kept things simple as she shared a photo of the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship in her suitcase, heading home with its new owner.
Per usual, Mone had an entourage of notable individuals in the house cheering her on in her latest match. PWInsider also reports that Katee Sackhoff and Emily Swallow from the hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian, which Mone also stars in, were in attendance.