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Mercedes Martinez opens up about why she initially signed with WWE instead of AEW

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Mercedes Martinez was the guest on this week's "AEW Unrestricted" where she talked about winning the ROH Interim Women's Championship and why she chose WWE over AEW in 2020.

Mercedes Martinez talks about what winning the ROH Interim Women’s Championship means to her:

"I think it just came out of nowhere to be honest. If anyone knows my history with Ring of Honor, I was with them for a short period of time back in 2006ish, and they didn't really have a women's division. It was kind of like you go in, you wrestle, and we were the attraction match," she said.

"At that time, women's wrestling wasn't as big as it is now. So it was kind of just finding your mode in every company that you can do. So it wasn't like there was a title or anything. We were just wrestling just to be in this big company that was just getting started. It was something big for a lot of female wrestlers to be a part of.”

“Eventually, we parted ways, I did my own thing, and Ring of Honor kept growing, but still there wasn't this women's division. So for it to come back around in the last year and a half and really take its own and really do it’s women's division, for me to be a champion, and even if it's an interim title, it's kind of like a chance to show your worth."

"I know Deonna Purrazzo is the official champion for Ring of Honor. It's like them saying yes, Deonna wasn't available, but we still want to give you the chance to hold this title and level up this division. It hits to the core in my heart because I worked for them, and for a company that didn't have something and now that they do, for me to hold that title now in my career, it's something that I really take to heart."

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On choosing WWE over AEW in 2020:

"I think at that time in my career, it was, take all opportunities that are given. I didn't know where my career was going to go back in 2019. AEW gave me a chance to be The Joker (in the Casino Battle Royal at All Out in 2019),and I didn't know I was going to be The Joker at that time. I knew I was going in and I was going to do the best that I can and just hopefully have a spot on this roster.”

“I think after the Battle Royal, we're talking trying to figure out where I fit in this company. But then another opportunity came up."

"I held off as long as I could to try to figure out if I fit in AEW. I talked to Tony. We talked about it publicly. He just didn't have a TV deal at that time and I'm hitting 20 years in my career. It was, what can I do for my family? What can I do to sustain my career and to keep longevity and to be stable, because you can only do the Indies for so long. You can only work so many jobs, and at that time, I was working two jobs full time, training, plus traveling and doing whatever I can to support my family. AEW gave me the opportunity, but they didn't give me what I needed at the time or what I wanted at that time. They were still working out and ironing out their details”

“By the time WWE called, I really waited about four months before I signed that contract because I was waiting for AEW. I just didn't hear from them for about four months. So what do I do to bring stability and bring my career to another level? So it wasn't that I had to choose, it was just who was willing to give me something that I needed at that time?”

“I think if I would have held out another two months, maybe I would have been with AEW at the beginning of 2020, but at the same time they weren't ready," she said.

"They didn't have a TV contract. They didn't have the money. They didn't have anything. It didn't pan out, and I think the universe was just telling me hey, this is not your time to be part of AEW. I really do believe that the universe wanted me somewhere else for a moment and then we'll circle back, but here I am."

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription