Mercedes Martinez Still Eyeing Showdown With Io Shirai: ‘She Doesn’t Know What’s Coming’
Photo Credit: James Musselwhite
Mercedes Martinez recently spoke with Mike Johnson of PWInsider and she reflected on her return to NXT, which came after she was briefly seen as a member of RETRIBUTION. Martinez was upset in this week’s opening round match in the Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, but she’s still targeting NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai and hopes Shirai still has the title when they eventually meet in the ring.
“I think when we finally get together and she better have that title, even if she doesn’t, but it’ll make it much more sweeter when I beat her and just prove to the world that Mercedes Martinez is what she says she is – the best in the world and 20 years doesn’t mean anything if I can’t prove it on the main stage. That’s what this year is going to bring – the year that Mercedes brings about the legacy that she wants to bring and winning that title from Io is the culmination of 20 years in the making, proving not only was I the best on the independent scene, but I am going to be the best here in NXT and I’m the woman to beat. Regardless of who’s been there longer than me or whoever, it comes down to experience and making the best of the opportunity and 2021,” Martinez said, “Io has a target on her back but I’m the one who’s going to nail that bullseye right in the middle and she doesn’t know what’s coming. She knows everybody else but she doesn’t know Mercedes Martinez just yet.”
Martinez’s path to NXT was not direct, and she was asked if she had any advice to future talent that may also take the longer road to get there. Martinez said you’ll always have opportunities in the business, but the most important thing is to be true to yourself and carve your own path.
“I’ve always believed you stay true to who you are and to your morals and ethics. Opportunities are there, they will always be there, you just gotta make sure that you own your legacy, you own your path – whatever path you take, you own it and never give up. If this is something you truly, truly want to do, you gotta put the work in. I didn’t bust my ass for 20 years just to throw it all away. There’s been trials and tribulations, setbacks, but I kept going because I knew what I wanted and I knew one day it was going to pay off, I just didn’t know when. The universe will tell you that, if you take the opportunity and you think it’s the right fit for your path for your career then you take it. If it wasn’t a good opportunity, then you learn from it, you have to give and you have to take,” Martinez explained. “This is a hard business, it really is, and you just gotta put the time, the patience and the dedication. Motivation will always be there but you gotta be dedicated to your craft, just don’t give up. It really is that simple – just don’t give up on your passion if this is something you really want to do.”