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The Women of the Year 2011: Mercedes Martinez (#7)

A la TIME’s Person of the Year list, Diva Dirt has compiled a countdown of the women we feel have best embodied the zeitgeist of the year in women’s wrestling. To compile this list, the Diva Dirt team have tracked the headlines here at Diva Dirt over the past 12 months, followed the lively fan debate on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, considered the impact that the women have made within the industry, and taken into account personal achievements as well. More information on the Women of the Year list here.

Heart of a Champion

The word “champion” says it all really.

Not only is she physically the WSU World Champion, but Mercedes Martinez exudes what it means to be a champion — and it’s more than just holding a belt. In many ways, Martinez is to thank for successfully bringing WSU into the Internet pay per view era this year by headling every iPPV event and making sure fans got their money’s worth. Being in the main event is surely an honor for any performer, but making sure fans go away with a good last impression so they’ll want to come back for more is a pretty daunting task. This is where Martinez has truly delivered by putting on hard-fought, gutsy main event matches in which she left it all on the mat. Without her, it could be questioned whether WSU’s venture into iPPVs would have paid off.

Kicking off 2011 with a brutal ladder match against Angel Orsini in January (a personal highlight for this writer), Mercedes and Orsini put their bodies on the line and certainly proved that women too can have amazing ladder matches, complete with heart-stopping moments such as a mid-air spear. Continuing into March, Martinez put her title on the line against a woman who perhaps matches her in pedigree, Serena. After a back-and-forth contest, Martinez held onto her belt as her reign surpassed the two year mark. In June, Mercedes brought Brittney Savage, a young diamond in the rough, to her best match yet. And of course, in November, Martinez went to war and wouldn’t quit until she had to be stretchered out of the arena and taken to hospital in the brutal steel cage War Games match.

Outside of the Internet pay per views, Martinez’s 73 minute match with Lexxus in August, which is dubbed the longest women’s match in history, is another testament to just what this woman can do. Throw anything at her and she’s ready for the challenge.

Nearly reaching an unprecedented three-year mark as WSU World Champion in March, Mercedes Martinez has been instrumental to the success of WSU over the years, and 2011 was perhaps the biggest year yet for the company and for Mercedes.

Outside of WSU, Mercedes, one of the SHIMMER originals, turned heel, refreshing her character in that promotion and providing a nice juxtaposition to her work elsewhere.

Martinez also made her debut in Japan after 11 years in pro wrestling, facing Nanae Takahashi for the STARDOM promotion.

From a business aspect, Mercedes has certainly helped define WSU in 2011 along with rising stars such as Jessicka Havok, as well as leading the charge into the iPPV era. And in the ring, Martinez is a valiant and prideful warrior who even when pushed to her limits, leaves it all on the mat. Perhaps intensity inside the ring for the fans’ enjoyment has been to her own detriment, ending the year with a severe concussion suffered during WSU’s November Internet pay per view. This only shows further what a champion she is.

Mercedes Martinez was a shining beacon for female wrestling in 2011.

The Women of the Year 2011: Madison Rayne (#8)

Click here for the full Women of the Year countdown

Exclusive: Mercedes Martinez Discusses WSU iPPV This Saturday, Clarifies Whether She’s Going to Mexico & Reveals Whether She’s Interested in WWE Tough Enough
Exclusive: Mercedes Martinez Talks About Her Japanese Debut, Match with Lexxus on August 6th

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