Mercedes Martinez (November 17, 1980) is an American female professional wrestler currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). She was previously signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). She has also wrestled in Wrestlicious, SHIMMER, Evolve Wrestling, Impact Championship Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored, New York Wrestling Connection, Northern Championship Wrestling, Squared Circle Wrestling, National Wrestling Superstars, World Xtreme Wrestling, Full Impact Pro, IWA-MS, Ring of Honor, New England Championship Wrestling, and Jersey All Pro Wrestling.
Professional wrestling career
Mercedes got involved in professional wrestling after an injury sustained playing basketball in college. Mercedes was a standout basketball player in high school. She later transitioned to professional wrestling due to her love for contact sports. As Mercedes explained in an article for the Boston Herald in 2004, "Wrestling just came at the right time." Mercedes Martinez began her training under Jason Knight in October 2000. She defeated a male wrestler by the name of "Juice" in her first match on November 12, 2000. In 2001, she gained exposure under promoter Sheldon Goldberg. Goldberg subsequently formed a women's division in New England Championship Wrestling around Martinez, including bringing in foreign talent such as Yoshimoto Ladies Pro's Sumie Sakai. The duo traded the North American Women's Championship.
Through 2003 and 2004, Martinez competed in various promotions in New England such as Connecticut Championship Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Ian Rotten's IWA Mid South. In IWA, Martinez was brought in to face the star of the women's division, Mickie Knuckles.
Shimmer and Ring of Honor
On November 6, 2005, Mercedes wrestled in the inaugural event of the new exclusive women wrestling promotion, Shimmer Women Athletes run by Dave Prazak, who discovered her while watching a Kiryoku Pro DVD. Martinez wrestled Sara Del Rey in a 20-minute time limit draw, and both were given a standing ovation after their match. Martinez continued to wrestle for Shimmer and various independent promotions across America through 2006.
On March 25, 2006, Martinez made her Ring of Honor (ROH) debut in New York City where she competed in a Shimmer sanctioned match versus her counterparts of Allison Danger, Daizee Haze, and Lacey. On December 22, Martinez suffered an injury in an ROH match teaming with Jimmy Jacobs against Haze and B.J. Whitmer. She returned to Ring of Honor by the end of December 2007, aligning herself with The Vulture Squad. On May 27, it was announced that Martinez and ROH had amicably parted ways.
On May 2, 2009, she took part in Shimmer's Volume 23 where she lost to Awesome Kong. Later in the night, as part of Volume 24, she defeated Madison Eagles. The next day, she lost to Serena Deeb for Volume 25, and teamed with Deeb to take on Sara Del Rey and Kong for Volume 26, but had a losing effort in that match. Mercedes lost against the debuting Ayako Hamada on November 8, 2009 after a Hama-Chan Cutter, but was able to score a pinfall over Cat Power as part of Volume 28 after hitting her with the Fisherman Buster.
On October 2, 2011, Mercedes faced off against Athena to a double countout at Volume 41, and refused to enter the ring when Athena wanted to continue fighting. In their rematch at Volume 42, Mercedes turned heel and attacked Athena with a steel chair, resulting in a disqualification. The pair faced each other again at Volume 44, with Mercedes losing again, this time via pinfall. However, Mercedes would pick up wins as a villain against women such as Hailey Hatred, Kana, and Ayumi Kurihara in future volumes. On April 13, 2013, Mercedes was defeated by Cheerleader Melissa in a match for the latter's SHIMMER Championship.
Women Superstars Uncensored (2007-2013)
In Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) in 2007, Martinez began teaming with Angel Orsini. In March 2008, they began feuding that culminated in many grueling matches throughout 2008 into 2009, including a Steel Cage on January 10, 2009; 2 months later, Martinez defeated Orsini in a Bullrope match on March 7, 2009 at the Second Anniversary Show in Boonton, New Jersey to win the WSU Championship, ending Orsini's record reign of just over nine months. They had one more match that rewrote the record books in a 60-minute Iron Woman Match on June 6, 2009 in Boonton, NJ that went a total of 70 minutes including going 10 minutes into sudden death and resulted in Mercedes getting the pin after a fisherwoman's buster and retaining the title. Martinez would continue to defend the title against the likes of Nikki Roxx, Awesome Kong, Rain, and Portia Perez. Along the way, Martinez and Orsini briefly captured the WSU Tag Team Championship. Martinez continued her WSU Championship title reign by defending against more challengers including Alicia, Amber O'Neal, Mickie James, and Jazz throughout 2009-2010. In January 2011, Martinez defeated Angel Orsini again in a ladder match to unify her title with Orsini's All Guts No Glory championship. Martinez then successfully defended her championship against Serena Deeb in the main event of WSU's 4 year anniversary show and also defeated Brittney Savage at WSU's Uncensored Rumble event. In August 2011, Mercedes put her title on the line against Uncensored Rumble winner, Lexxus in a match that would become the longest women's wrestling match in history as the match continued past the 60 minute time limit until Martinez was able to get the win after 73 minutes, breaking the record of the Orsini match by 3 Minutes. Martinez then became involved in a violent rivalry with Jessicka Havok that culminated in Havok putting an end to Martinez's unprecedented 3 year title reign at the WSU 5th Anniversary Show. Mercedes regained the title from Havok on April 28, 2012, but she would lose the title to Havok in a three-way match that involved Brittney Savage on the same night.
Mercedes was defeated in a Casket Match by Havok after LuFisto interfered and attacked her. Mercedes faced LuFisto to a time limit draw at Full Steam Ahead, and was defeated by LuFisto at An Ultraviolent Affair on February 9, 2013. After the match, Mercedes attacked LuFisto, resulting in a double turn (LuFisto turning face and Mercedes turning heel).
She also took part of Jimmy Hart's Wrestlicious series as a Bull Fighter character named "Maria Toro", managed by "Bandita." In the main event of the first episode she teamed up with Bandita and Felony in a winning effort against the team of Cousin Cassie, Tyler Texas and Charlotte.
NCW Femmes Fatales (2010–2019)
Mercedes Martinez debuted for NCW Femmes Fatales on February 6, 2010 taking on Portia Perez. At the end of the match Mercedes was able to hit with the Fisherman Buster to get the pin. After racking up an undefeated streak, Mercedes became the #1 Contender for the NCW Femmes Fatales Championship, and she received her shot against Kalamity at Femmes Fatales VIII on March 10, 2012, but was unsuccessful. After the match, Mercedes turned into a villain by laying Kalamity out, which prompted LuFisto to enter and make the save. Mercedes faced LuFisto to a double countout at Femmes Fatales IX, but would defeat LuFisto in a steel cage match at the second part of Femmes Fatales X.
At Femmes Fatales XI on March 30, 2013, the evil Mercedes defeated Kalamity to win the NCW Femmes Fatales Championship and end Kalamity's 538-day reign. Mercedes had her first successful title defense against Sweet Cherrie at Femmes Fatales XII on July 6. At Femmes Fatales XIII on October 26, however, Mercedes teamed up with the villainous Cheerleader Melissa in a losing effort against LuFisto and Sweet Cherrie.
Shine Wrestling (2012-2019)
Mercedes debuted for Shine Wrestling as a villain on July 20, 2012; defeating Leva Bates at their first show. She later engaged in a feud with Jazz, which would see them fight to a no contest at SHINE 2. Mercedes would lose to Jayme Jameson at SHINE 3 after Jazz got involved. She would team up with Rain in a losing effort to Jazz and Amazing Kong at SHINE 5. At SHINE 6 on January 11, 2013, Mercedes defeated Kong after interference from the newly formed Valkyrie faction.
Mercedes faced Nikki Roxx on back-to-back events; losing the first match but winning the rematch. After defeating Evie at SHINE 9 on April 19, Mercedes attacked Roxx and Daffney during a birthday party for Roxx. At SHINE 10 on May 24, Mercedes lost to Mia Yim in a SHINE Championship Tournament qualifying match due to interference from Daffney. Mercedes was placed in one of the two four-way qualifiers at SHINE 11, losing to LuFisto; the match also included Nikki Roxx and Su Yung. Mercedes would later target members of Daffney's All-Star Squad, beginning with defeating Solo Darling at SHINE 13. However, at SHINE 14, Mercedes would lose to Kimberly via countout. At SHINE 15 on December 13, Mercedes defeated Heidi Lovelace in a highly acclaimed match. She would defeat Su Yung at SHINE 16 on January 24, 2014.
At SHINE 17 on February 28, Mercedes was defeated by Ivelisse in a match for the SHINE Championship. After the match ended, Mercedes re-entered the ring to save Ivelisse from being attacked by Valkyrie.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2017–2018)
On July 13, 2017, Martinez entered WWE's Mae Young Classic tournament, defeating Xia Li in her first round match. The following day, Martinez defeated Princesa Sugehit in the second round and Abbey Laith in the quarterfinals, before being eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals by Shayna Baszler. She made an appearance on the October 26, 2017 episode of NXT, participating in a battle royal which was won by Nikki Cross to determine one of the contenders for the vacant NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. Martinez would also lose to Ember Moon on the November 15, 2017 edition of NXT. Martinez made her return to WWE, competing in the 2nd Mae Young Classic. She made it to the second round, defeating Ashley Rayne before being eliminated by Meiko Satomura.
All Elite Wrestling (2019)
On August 31, 2019, Martinez appeared at All Elite Wrestling's second major pay-per-view event, All Out. She appeared as the "Joker" in the second Casino Battle Royale, coming into the match as its final entrant. She was eliminated by Britt Baker without scoring a single elimination. She made her return on November 5 at AEW Dark, teaming with Big Swole in a losing effort against Allie and Sadie Gibbs.
Return to WWE (2020–2021)
In January 2020, Martinez signed a contract with WWE and reported to the Performance Center. She was again assigned to the NXT brand, with her return match being a Battle Royal to determine the number one contender for the NXT Women's Championship on January 15, eliminating Mia Yim before being eliminated by Shayna Baszler. She also entered her first Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble 2020 event at Number 6, before being eliminated by Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville after lasting over eight minutes. On February 5, Martinez defeated Kacy Catanzaro in her return singles match, marking her first victory on NXT. On July 22 episode of NXT, Martinez signed with The Robert Stone Brand after attacking Shotzi Blackheart, turning heel in the process. On the September 8 episode of NXT, after losing to Rhea Ripley in a steel cage match, Robert Stone announced that she is no longer part of the Robert Stone Brand.
Martinez made her Raw debut on September 21, where she was revealed as a member of the heel faction, RETRIBUTION under the ring name of Retaliation. Shortly thereafter, Martinez requested her removal from the group, and was quietly returned to NXT. Martinez made her return to NXT on December 23, attacking NXT Women's champion Io Shirai. She was in a triple threat along with Toni Storm at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day but failed to capture the championship. In June 2021, Martinez entered into a feud against Xia Li over beating her in the inaugural Mae Young Classic, losing to her in a match at NXT TakeOver: In Your House. On the June 29 episode of NXT, she teamed with Jake Atlas and lost to Li and Boa in a mixed tag team match. During the match, she suffered an injury after getting knocked out with a kick, and was taken to a hospital afterwards. On August 6th, Martinez was released from her WWE contract.
Impact Wrestling (2021)
On the October 7, 2021 episode of Impact!, Martinez made her debut, teaming with Savannah Evans and Tasha Steelz to defeat Brandi Lauren, Kimber Lee, and Lady Frost. At Knockouts Knockdown, Martinez defeated Brandi Lauren in the quarter-finals, Rachael Ellering in the semi-finals, and Tasha Steelz in the final to win the Knockouts Knockdown tournament, thus she received a future Impact Knockouts Championship match. On November 20th at Turning Point Martinez lost her championship match against then defending champion Mickie James.
Return to All Elite Wrestling (2021-present)
On the December 29, 2021 episode of AEW Dynamite, Martinez made her return, assisting Jade Cargill in defeating Thunder Rosa to advance to the finals of the AEW TBS Championship Tournament. It was then announced that she had signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
- Finishing and signature moves
- Bull Run
- Surfboard Dragon Sleeper
- Butterfly Lock
- Three Amigas
- Three Amigas into Rope Hang Neckbreaker
- Ace Crusher
- Half Nelson Wheelbarrow Driver
- "The Latina Sensation"
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers managed
- Theme music
- “Live At Jimmy’s” by Angie Martinez, Big Pun, Cuban Link, Domingo & Sunkiss (IWA MS)
Championships and accomplishments
- Shimmer Women Athletes
- SHINE Wrestling
- Women Superstars Uncensored
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked her #11 in the 2008 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #14 in the 2009 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #3 in the 2010 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #2 in the 2011 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #9 in the 2012 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #10 in the 2013 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #22 in the 2014 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #11 in the 2017 PWI Top 50 Females
- PWI ranked her #29 in the 2018 PWI Top 100 Females
- PWI ranked her #9 in the 2019 PWI Top 100 Females
|2008 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Amazing Kong • Beth Phoenix • Gail Kim • Mickie James • MsChif • Sara Del Rey • Roxxi Laveaux • Melina • Michelle McCool • Candice Michelle • Mercedes Martinez • Victoria • Taylor Wilde • ODB • Daizee Haze • Angelina Love • Jacqueline • April Hunter • Nattie Neidhart • Sumie Sakai • Allison Danger • Tracy Brooks • Velvet Sky • Sarah Stock • Mickie Knuckles • Katie Lea Burchill • Cherry • Cheerleader Melissa • Maria Kanellis • Amber O'Neal • Lexie Fyfe • Kelly Kelly • Cindy Rogers • Jillian Hall • Malia Hosaka • Christie Ricci • Becky Bayless • Alere Little Feather • Layla El • Kelly Couture • Jaime D • Christy Hemme • Milena Roucka • Annie Social • LuFisto • Trenesha Biggers • Danyah • Jennifer Blake • Daffney • Portia Perez|
|2009 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Mickie James • Angelina Love • Melina • MsChif • Tara • Awesome Kong • Beth Phoenix • Michelle McCool • Maryse • Taylor Wilde • Sara Del Rey • Cheerleader Melissa • Gail Kim • Mercedes Martinez • ODB • Daizee Haze • Sarita • Daffney • Madison Rayne • Katie Lea Burchill • Nikki Roxx • Angel Orsini • Velvet Sky • Sojo Bolt • Natalya • Rain • Amber O'Neal • Jillian Hall • Jetta • Lufisto • Madison Eagles • Nevaeh • Wesna Busic • Kelly Kelly • Portia Perez • Danyah • Ariel • Jennifer Blake • Nicole Matthews • Serena Deeb • Allison Danger • Malia Hosaka • Lexie Fyfe • Jamie D • Amy Lee • Annie Social • April Hunter • Cherry Bomb • Jessie McKay • Rosa Mendes|
|2010 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Michelle McCool • Angelina Love • Mercedes Martinez • Cheerleader Melissa • Eve Torres • Madison Rayne • Beth Phoenix • Mickie James • MsChif • Maryse • Tara • Sara Del Rey • Gail Kim • Awesome Kong • Madison Eagles • Sarita • Alicia Fox • Taylor Wilde • Daffney • Hamada • Velvet Sky • ODB • Nikki Roxx • Jillian • Portia Perez • Kelly Kelly • Rain • Angel Orsini • Natalya • Serena Deeb • Nicole Matthews • Amber O'Neal • LuFisto • Daizee Haze • Allison Danger • Layla • Kellie Skater • Tiffany • Jennifer Blake • Jazz • Melissa Coates • Cat Power • Malia Hosaka • Cherry Bomb • April Hunter • Jessicka Havok • Brittany Force • Naomi Night • Cindy Rogers • Roxie Cotton|
|2011 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Madison Eagles • Mercedes Martinez • Mickie James • Natalya • Madison Rayne • Cheerleader Melissa • Beth Phoenix • Tara • MsChif • Sara Del Rey • Eve Torres • Angelina Love • Layla • Sarita • Kelly Kelly • Serena Deeb • Velvet Sky • Ayako Hamada • LuFisto • Winter • Brie Bella • Angel Orsini • Melina • Daizee Haze • Nikki Roxx • Gail Kim • Jazz • Maryse • Christina Von Eerie • Portia Perez • Rosita • ODB • Nicole Matthews • Rachel Summerlyn • Jessicka Havok • Brittany Force • Kellie Skater • Tina San Antonio • Melanie Cruise • Cherry Bomb • Sassy Stephie • Tasha Simone • Alicia Fox • Amber O'Neal • Allison Danger • Kacee Carlisle • Brittney Savage • AJ Lee • Melissa Coates • Jessica James|
|2017 PWI Top 50 Females|
|Asuka • Charlotte Flair • Alexa Bliss • Sasha Banks • Bayley • Io Shirai • Natalya • Sienna • Naomi • Kairi Sane • Mercedes Martinez • Shayna Baszler • Rosemary • LuFisto • Mayu Iwantani • Mia Yim • Allie • Ember Moon • Becky Lynch • Madison Eagles • Nicole Savoy • Nia Jax • Candice LeRae • Toni Storm • Hiroyo Matsumoto • Chelsea Green • Saraya Knight • Shazza McKenzie • Kay Lee Ray • Mickie James • Dakota Kai • Nicole Matthews • Alex Windsor • Deonna Purrazzo • Abbey Laith • Risa Sera • Viper • Carmella • Ruby Riot • Nikki Cross • Vanessa Kraven • Santana Garrett • Tessa Blanchard • Arisa Nakajima • Lady Lory • Shotzi Blackheart • Veda Scott • Alpha Female • Marti Belle • Zoey Skye|
|WWE Mae Young Classic 2017 contestants|
Abbey Laith • Ayesha Ray • Bianca Belair • Candice LeRae • Dakota Kai • Jazzy Gabert • Kairi Sane • Kavita Devi • Kay Lee Ray • Lacey Evans • Marti Belle • Mercedes Martinez • Mia Yim • Miranda Salinas • Nicole Savoy • Piper Niven • Princesa Sugehit • Rachel Evers • Reina Gonzalez • Renee Michelle • Rhea Ripley • Sage Beckett • Santana Garrett • Sarah Logan • Serena Deeb • Shayna Baszler • Taynara Conti • Tessa Blanchard • Toni Storm • Vanessa Borne • Xia Li • Zeda