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Exclusive: Mercedes Martinez Talks About Her Japanese Debut, Match with Lexxus on August 6th

Despite being one of the most decorated female wrestlers on the North American independent scene, Mercedes Martinez has yet to take her hard hitting style to Japan.

That all changes this weekend.

Mercedes Martinez to Make Japanese Debut Against Nanae Takahashi

With the likes of Mercedes’ rival from earlier this year, Serena, fellow WSU star Latasha and Mia Yim amongst the recent travelers to Japan, it’s hard to believe that the 10-plus year veteran is only just making her debut. However, the wait has been worth it. Mercedes’ debut match in Japan is a big one: She will face Nane Takahashi in her 15th anniversary match in Tokyo.

Ahead of stepping into the hallowed halls of Korakuen Hall, Diva Dirt caught up with Mercedes to find out about her Japanese debut and also discuss her upcoming challenger for the WSU World Championship, Lexxus.

Live Coverage: WSU Uncensored Rumble

First of all, congratulations on being booked in Japan! A lot of the reaction we’ve seen from fans as well as your co-workers is along the lines of, “It’s about time!” You’ve been in the business for over 10 years and haven’t worked in Japan until now. What’s taken so long?
Thank you so much. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m very excited and honored. As far as the reaction from fans and co-workers about the opportunity to go to Japan, it’s definitely long overdue but I believe that everything has a timeline. Being in this business for over 10 years has given me the experience and knowledge to see what this business has to offer and definitely perfect my wrestling skills. Japan is a place I’ve always wanted to go but maybe it just wasn’t in the cards for me until now. No matter how long it has taken for the opportunity to show up, I’ll always be honored that the opportunity came to me.

Is it a case of the opportunity hadn’t been presented in the past or you weren’t able to accept offers at the time?
It’s definitely the first time that this opportunity has presented itself. I will always accept offers as long as it doesn’t disrupt my personal life with regards to my real life job and home life. I just can’t pic kup and leave to another counrty knowing I have responsibilities at home. This opportunity has come at the right time in my career so I’m taking it and riding the wave, so to speak.

We’ve seen girls head over to Japan a lot recently, particularly girls with far less experience than yourself in the ring. What does it mean to you to finally have the opportunity to travel to and work in Japan?
It definitely means the world to me. I finally can say that I fulfilled all my goals in wrestling thus far. With this opportunity I will give more than my all and leave all that I have in the ring. Everything happens for a reason and I always leave everything up to faith. The girls with less experience than me go to japan just for that: Experience. Whether it took me one year or 11 years to get there, it’s an experience I will cherish.

Exclusive: Mercedes Martinez Discusses WSU iPPV This Saturday, Clarifies Whether She’s Going to Mexico & Reveals Whether She’s Interested in WWE Tough Enough

Of course, Japan has a thriving wrestling scene and I’m sure you study Japanese matches to help you hone your craft. Any particular Japanese wrestlers that have inspired or influenced you during your career?
I take a bit of everyone when it comes to my wrestling career. I studied a lot of wrestling matches in my 11 year career and most notable Japanese wrestlers i always watched were Ayako Hamada, Manami Toyota, Akira Hokuto, Aja Kong, Magumi Kudo and Bull Nakano. There are so many talented wrestlers in Japan that it’s hard to name them all, but I take a bit from everyone.

Your opponent is Nanae Takahashi and this will be her 15th anniversary match. How does it feel to be involved in such an important match for Nanae?
I’m humbled, honored, and excited that I get the chance to wrestle one of the premier powerhouses in the joshi world. To say that the pressure is on is an under-statement but I’m going into the match knowing that I’m giving more than 200% and will make sure that Nanae has an awesome and exciting 15th anniversary match.

You’ve wrestled three of the joshi stars in SHIMMER (Tomoka Nakagawa, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata). Do you think those matches have prepared you for this bout?
Wrestling Tomoka, Hiroyo and Misaki definitely helped me to know what the Japanese wrestlers are all about. I’m going into this match with a sense of pride and joy knowing that I can produce a great match with one of the best in Japan. The language barrier doesn’t scare me [either], as wrestling is its own language.

Women’s wrestling in Japan is really intense, but you yourself have a hard hitting style. Do you think that will help?
My hard hitting style should definitely help in getting adjusted to the intense style that Japanese wrestlers have. I’m more than prepared to wrestle in Japan and i know that I can fit right in with their style. I still train and I still study Japanese matches just to keep my head focused on what to expect but having wrestle those [aforementioned] girls definitely helped me to mentally prepare for this trip.

Any other stars you’d like to wrestle in Japan?
I’ll wrestle them all!! Japanese wrestlers are so dedicated to their craft that I’m not picky as to who I’ll wrestle, but i would definitely love to wrestle Manami Toyota, who is truly one of the best in the business, period! That would be a dream match for me.

Now that you’re making your first trip over there, what are the chances we might see you in Japan more often? Would you be open to going there for months at a time as some of the American girls are currently doing?
I truly hope after this trip to Japan I get more offers and opportunities. Only time will tell and I’ll take it as they come. I live in the moment and right now I’m just humbled and honored to get the chance to showcase my talent over there. If the opportunity came for a chance to be there for months at a time, then of course I would go. It’s all about the timing.

Any talk with WSU about going over there with the belt at some point and representing the company in title matches in Japan?
As of this moment in time, there are no talks about WSU and Japan. I’m just holding on to the opportunity that presented itself and taking it from there. If it all goes great in Japan, maybe something will come out of it for WSU. Till then, I’m just living in the moment.

Switching gears to the Uncensored Rumble last month… Lexxus?! We didn’t see that one coming. Did you?
Definitely didn’t see Lexxus winning the Uncensored Rumble but it goes to show you that anything can happen. She stayed in there and outlasted many names such as Nikki Roxx, Amy Lee and Serena, amongst others. She played the cards right and won. I was definitely shocked but that’s what the Rumble is all about… Opportunity.

Think this will be an easy victory on 8/6? Are you focused more on Takahashi than Lexxus?
As of right now, I’m more focused on Takahashi and that’s only because it’s such a high profile match and it’s my next match. Obviously, when I get back from Japan, my focus will shift gears and my mind-frame will focus on Lexxus. I never under-estimate anyone in the ring but I take it one match at a time. I never, ever think any of my matches are easy victories even if they seem that way on paper because anything can happen.

Mercedes Martinez faces Nanae Takahashi on Sunday, July 24th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.

See Mercedes live when she defends the WSU World Championship against Lexxus on August 6th in New Jersey. Tickets and more information can be found here.

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