Earlier today, AEW President and General Manager, Tony Khan, participated in the AEW: Double or Nothing media call. I was on the call representing Haus of Wrestling and asked Khan about Willow Nightingale’s surprise win over Mercedes Mone for the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship at Resurgence.
“Willow was somebody that we have had in our plan, and that’s why I sent Willow, specifically, my choice to go to New Japan and compete in this tournament. They asked me for a name, other wrestling companies were sending their top stars, and everybody was going to send their top star to compete against Mercedes for the inaugural New Japan Strong Championship.
“I have so much respect for New Japan as a business partner, and I’m friends with their leadership. As part of being a good respectful partner, I wanted to send a great representative of AEW, so when I talked to Rocky and Gedo about it, I suggested Willow, and I think she’s come a long way.”
Mone reportedly suffered a broken ankle during the match, leading the finish to be changed to Nightingale picking up the win. It is widely believed that Mone was the intended winner of the match, and would go on to become the inaugural NJPW champion. I pressed Khan about whether Mone’s injury affects any plans he has going forward, possibly for Forbidden Door.
“Now going forward, it does make things a little bit interesting, because nobody really knows besides Mercedes and myself, what was going to happen there, and what the future would hold for her. Whether that was competing exclusively in New Japan, or potentially, also, whether she’d be a Forbidden Door. Frankly, now, even going forward, I don’t think anybody but her knows when she’ll be ready to come back to the ring.
“I have so much respect for Mercedes, and I think she has been a great champion all over the world, including in New Japan. And she would have been a great first-ever Strong Champion but I think we have a great champion now in Willow, and we’ll look to utilize Willow in AEW, possibly in ROH, and also take advantage of that great, beautiful new championship belt that she’s holding also.”
If you use any quotes from this article please give a h/t to Haus of Wrestling