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Dax Harwood Weighs In On Mercedes Mone & KAIRI’s NJPW Battle In The Valley Match, Mone Living Her Dream

February 27, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
Mercedes Mone KAIRI NJPW Battle in the Valley Image Credit: NJPW

On a recent episode of the FTR podcast, Dax Harwood talked about his friend, Mercedes Mone, winning the NJPW Women’s Championship from KAIRI at NJPW Battle In The Valley. Check out Dax’s thoughts below:

On working NJPW being Mercedes’ dream: “You could see the emotion from curtain to curtain. You could see how much it meant to her, you could see how much it meant to KAIRI too. But this was Mercedes’ dream, for as long as I’ve known her. 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.”

On loving the match between Mercedes and KAIRI: “I loved the match. I thought it was probably the best women’s match I’ve seen this year. I could be wrong, and I’ll probably get eaten alive for that. They were given time. They sold everything perfectly. They started out the match wrestling. That was such a breath of fresh air to see that. They started out wrestling, but they’re also both so athletically gifted, so they incorporated that athleticism into their wrestling, which I thought was flawless and seamless.”

On it being one of the best matches he’s seen in 2023: “I think — this is my opinion, Mercedes, I apologize — I think we could have gone without the table spot? That’s my opinion. I think they were doing such a great job at the wrestling aspect that the table spot, we could do down the line. If they have a rematch or whatever. I see where they’re going. This is the first women’s match in New Japan that is like a really high profile women’s match, so they probably wanted to pull out all the stops. I get that and I understand that, I don’t feel the match really needed that one table spot. Other than that, man, it was probably one of the best wrestling matches, in general, that I’ve seen all year. The false finish with the Bayley-to-Belly? That was so great. People bought that. It was really, really good.”

On the star power Mercedes brings to New Japan’s women’s division: “When they announced her, the building sold out. They centered this show, even though she didn’t go on last, they centered this show around here. And it paid off big time for her, for KAIRI, and for New Japan. Now I think is the time 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. Because I know for a fact she’ll load it up on her back and carry it.”

If using any of the above quotations, please credit FTR h/t 411mania for the transcription.