Mercedes Martinez was the latest guest on this week’s "AEW Unrestricted" podcast during which she touched upon why she signed with WWE over AEW back in 2020.
“I think at that time in my career, it was, take all opportunities that are given. I didn’t know where my career was going to go back in 2019. AEW gave me a chance to be The Joker (in the Casino Battle Royal at All Out in 2019),and I didn’t know I was going to be The Joker at that time. I knew I was going in and I was going to do the best that I can and just hopefully have a spot on this roster.”
“I think after the Battle Royal, we’re talking trying to figure out where I fit in this company. But then another opportunity came up.”
“I held off as long as I could to try to figure out if I fit in AEW. I talked to Tony. We talked about it publicly. He just didn’t have a TV deal at that time and I’m hitting 20 years in my career. It was, what can I do for my family? What can I do to sustain my career and to keep longevity and to be stable, because you can only do the Indies for so long. You can only work so many jobs, and at that time, I was working two jobs full time, training, plus traveling and doing whatever I can to support my family. AEW gave me the opportunity, but they didn’t give me what I needed at the time or what I wanted at that time. They were still working out and ironing out their details”
“By the time WWE called, I really waited about four months before I signed that contract because I was waiting for AEW. I just didn’t hear from them for about four months. So what do I do to bring stability and bring my career to another level? So it wasn’t that I had to choose, it was just who was willing to give me something that I needed at that time?”
“I think if I would have held out another two months, maybe I would have been with AEW at the beginning of 2020, but at the same time they weren’t ready,” she said.
“They didn’t have a TV contract. They didn’t have the money. They didn’t have anything. It didn’t pan out, and I think the universe was just telling me hey, this is not your time to be part of AEW. I really do believe that the universe wanted me somewhere else for a moment and then we’ll circle back, but here I am.”