TAELER: NXT Star Mercedes Martinez Celebrates One Year With The WWE

This past week,independent wrestling veteran Mercedes Martinez officially celebrated one year with the WWE. Leading up to this achieved anniversary under her proverbial WWE belt, Martinez has seen herself become an NXT Superstar on the rise! An impressive inspiration. A gold standard of work ethic. A testament to the definition of tenacity. A worthy seasoned and savvy competitor. Impeccable world-wide experience. A unique in ring caliber of excellence. All of which add up to who is known as Mercedes Martinez.

With almost two decades of professional wrestling experience prior to the WWE speaking for her, there's very little Mercedes Martinez hasn't witnessed, achieved, or experienced first hand. As a woman in the business myself, I first had the distinct privilege of sharing a ring with Martinez when I had less than two full years under my own belt. Very green and extremely anxious to learn from women like Martinez, I jumped at the opportunity. I found myself in awe. Motivated. Anxious. Pensive. Excited. Antsy. And most certainly inspired.

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With this opportunity at that time early on in my career I had to earn every inch of that ring with her. No quarter would be given from Martinez without me first proving myself. From my arm drags to my polish hammers to my chops and kicks. My selling to my fire up. Proving myself to her, the fans in attendance, and the other women in the back. Paying my dues. Listening. Learning. Growing. Evolving. Contorting myself into the biggest sponge I possibly could be. All in order to soak up as much knowledge as Mercedes Martinez would give me. The grit. The psychology. I learned the true essence of the craft. Twelve years later I can still recall that experience with fondness and immense respect.

To this day, some of the best advice I was ever given throughout my own career came from Martinez herself. A woman who was also given no quarter of that ring without first earning each and every movement. A woman who had to overcome unimaginable adversity at it's most basic foundation. Adversity in every sense of the word. A woman who has successfully spanned two decades in the industry without sacrificing her own integrity. A woman who defied insurmountable odds to become the woman she is today. A woman who broke into the industry at a time with far less opportunity and less acceptance for what's against the stereotypical mold of success. A woman who has helped pave the way for women like myself.

Competing all over the world for two decades. Wrestling against Victoria, Hamada, Awesome Kong, Roxxi Laveaux, Sara Del Rey, MsChif, Shayna Baszler, Mia Yim, and more. From the WWF to Shimmer. Ring of Honor to WAW overseas. WSU to Shine. Stardom to AEW. Competing in both Mae Young Classic Tournaments and on to secure her very own official WWE contract. After one year in the WWE she is rightly on the rise as she places herself amidst the feud of Rhea Ripley and Raquel. Her sights on Io Shirai. And teaming with former NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm in the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament. Much to the chagrin of Io Shirai who made her presence known and felt...

Fast on the heels of Martinez's WWE anniversary, the time is now. Every milestone. Every obstacle. Every Championship win. Every loss. Overcoming expectations. Defying the status quo. Each and every bump. Every injury. The minor setbacks in the pursuit of a dream. It's all added up. It's led to this pivotal moment for the veteran competitor. Her time is now. Her eyes are on the prize. Only looking back long enough to pay homage to the woman who started her on this wild journey in Pro Wrestling. Congratulations to the Latina Sensation - Mercedes Martinez.

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