Various: NJPW Strong Future Update, Mercedes Mone on NJPW & Stardom, Richard Holliday

Announcement on Future of NJPW Strong Set for This Week

New Japan Pro Wrestling President Takami Ohbari announced earlier today that the company will be making an official announcement regarding the future of their NJPW Strong series “within a few days.”

Ohbari previously announced that NJPW Strong would be undergoing a rebuilding and revamped relaunch at some point this year with a new focus towards “quality over quantity.”

Mercedes Mone Comments on Upcoming IWGP Women’s Title Match Against KAIRI

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s official English-language website held a recent interview with Mercedes Mone. One of the topics discussed included Mone’s thoughts on her decision to join NJPW and her official debut for the company earlier this month.

“Personally, I always knew I was going to make an impact here. But it’s cool to see how quick it was, the turnaround to go from another name and character I’ve done for ten years to now be Mercedes Moné, and to see that instantly trend… just people obviously caring and wanting to see my match with KAIRI was cool. For it to sell out with that match being the only thing announced at that time was amazing. I know my fans always love and support me, so I knew it was going to do well, but it was kind of a shock to see how quickly it went that well.”

Mone also gave her thoughts about the process jumping from a WWE wrestling career to a Japanese wrestling career.

“I’ve been working every single day since I left there. I’ve been making movies, making TV shows, magazines, modelling, I haven’t stopped. But wrestling has always been my number one love, and there was no soul searching involved in coming back to wrestling. I went to Mexico for a month in October and lived there.

Seeing Manami Toyota and Akira Hokuto, Aja Kong, all these hard hitting matches, and it was like ‘wait, there are matches where women are outperforming and having better matches than the men?’ They were hitting just as hard as the men, having these 30 minute long five star matches. I was so amazed by them that Japan became my number one goal even before WWE. So I managed to achieve what I wanted to achieve in WWE, and now I get to live out this international dream. I’ve been saying ‘Moné makes the world go round’, and I mean that. I’m thrilled to start this in Japan, and with NJPW and STARDOM. STARDOM, to me, has the best women’s wrestlers in the world, and I really want to cement my legacy with my wrestling fans, to cement my name with the greatest of all time. I’m ready to f**king go.”

Mone also gave her thoughts about getting to work in Stardom and in all-women’s events for her career.

“I’ve only gotten to experience WWE Evolution as an all women’s show. I’ve never been part of an all women promotion like STARDOM is, so that will be a first for me. I’ve always been mixed with the guys and sharing, what, maybe five minutes of a three hour weekly TV show. So I’m really excited to be a part of STARDOM and be a part of all women’s shows. I’m intrigued to see what it’s like and how it all works, but it’s been working for Japan for a very long time, and being involved with all these potential fresh matchups makes me excited about the future.”

Richard Holliday Cancer Battle Update

As noted before, Major League Wrestling talent Richard Holliday has been out of action for the company since this past June due to his current bout with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

This past Thursday’s MLW Fusion show featured a video segment involving Holliday. During the segment, Holliday provided an update on the status of his current battle with cancer.

“Consumers, it’s me, Richard. I wanted to take this moment to speak candidly with you because I do understand that not everyone is on social media and sometimes it’s tough to stay on top of the news and everything that’s going on.

You might have been wondering why I have been absent from your screens and why I haven’t been in the world of professional wrestling as of late. That’s because, in September 2022, I was diagnosed with cancer in the form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

This was completely devastating news to me and completely shocking, just based upon me being a professional athlete and taking care of my body the way that I did. You know, you think you’re invincible. You think that nothing like this will ever happen to you, but such is life, and unfortunately, it can.

What I’ve been saying to myself is that it’s not the news that you get that defines you as a person; it’s how you react to it.

I just want to let each and every one of you know that I have been in the gym five to six days a week. I am training my ass off.

The doctors are completely shocked by how I’ve been able to handle my chemotherapy because most people will tell you horror stories. But, luckily for me, I have been able to weather the storm the best that I possibly can, and I’m doing better seemingly each and every day.

With that being said, I don’t know exactly when I’ll be able to get back into the ring or when I’ll be able to enter that world of professional wrestling, which I miss so dearly. It’s my life, it’s my life’s work, it’s my absolute passion.

Until that day comes, I miss you guys. This is by no means a “goodbye”. This isn’t even a “see you later”. In my opinion, this is a “see you soon”, and I can’t wait for that day. I will leave you with this: when you’re breathing rarefied air, you fight.”

Transcript h/t: