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Mercedes Martinez explains why she didn’t want to be in WWE’s Retribution stable

Mercedes Martinez joined Renee Paquette this week on “Oral Sessions” to talk about her stop-and-start WWE run, Retribution, the idea of whether women have a “shelf life” in wrestling, getting back on the independent scene, and more.

Martinez talked about other jobs she did while wrestling before coming to WWE:

“I worked two jobs. I worked as an overnight manager at Walmart. Then I worked as a customer support sales floor at Home Depot. I went from one job working 12 hours to another job working 5-6 hours. On the weekends, it was just travel, travel, travel, come back home, and right back again. It was a routine that I was used to, and then when you get signed, everything stops. They tell you everything. It’s like, oh, this is where I have to be? Ok. I have four days off? Ok.”

Martinez talking about not wanting to be in ‘Retribution’:

“Retribution was one of those opportunities. You want to get to the main roster. That was the thing. I was in the middle of a storyline with Rhea Ripley at that time, and they called me to RAW just to be an extra. Not only am I doing RAW and SmackDown, I’m also doing NXT in a whole week. It was just so much. Then they said, ‘We want you to be part of Retribution.’ Me in my head, I’m like, ‘Ok, I just finished my storyline with Rhea in a steel cage match.  This is my opportunity. However, personally, I needed to know what this group was going to do. What is this group? What is the mentality of this group?  Is this something personally that I can get behind?’ Mind you, everything was going on in the world with the riots. Is this part of that, because I don’t condone it. I don’t want to be part of something that may be near something outside in real life. They didn’t know what was going on, so I was like, ‘Just keep us hidden.’ That’s what they did with the hoods and everything. I was like, cool. The moment that we unveiled ourselves, it was one of those things where I was like, I can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t mentally go through this group knowing that my whole career was based on me and doing things my way.  It’s ok to be part of a group, but it wasn’t ok when there was no communication to talk to me about the group. It wasn’t ok to let me know that you were going to change my name the day of without a contract. I was still on a NXT contract. I’m not stupid. I’m a grown a** woman. Talk to me. Don’t tell me the day of the show that you’re going to change my name. We didn’t agree on that. We didn’t agree on anything. If you want to do something, that’s fine, but don’t expect me to take it lightly. I’m one of those people that if you want to talk to me, we can talk. I’m on a NXT contract and here we are on RAW, and I’m not part of RAW yet. Let’s talk. Let’s figure out what’s going on. The moment that happened, I was like, I can’t do this. I don’t want to be a part of this group. There’s no communication. I want to be known as Mercedes Martinez. That is what I built my legacy on. That is what I built my brand on. I don’t want to be known as another name in WWE because my point to get here was based on me. You took me as me. You took me as Mercedes Martinez, not as another person. You can change me all you want, but I don’t have a long shelf life. I’m 40 years old. There’s no way you’re going to try to change a character and expect me to go 5-10 years. I probably can, but I have to think realistically. 20 years as Mercedes, there’s no way I can go by another name or another character.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette “ with a h/t to for the transcription.

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