After months of anticipation, Mercedes Mone is officially set to make her in-ring debut for AEW at Double or Nothing in Las Vegas, wrestling against Willow Nightingale in her first match since the “Babe with the Power” injured her at NJPW Resurgence last May in Long Beach, California. Soon, fans will get to see the “CEO” put in work on her biggest stage since her exit from WWE and will find out if all the hype has been worth the extensive build-up.

Discussing the prospects of her much-anticipated rematch with Nightingale at Double or Nothing in an interview with US Weekly, Mone commented on the online tribalism between AEW and WWE fans, noting that there really shouldn't be any competition between the two promotions, as it should instead be saved for the wrestlers in the ring.

“I feel like there should be no competition when it's between companies. It just needs to be competition between the wrestlers, seeing who wants to be the main event of the show, to make the most money. I'm competing with everybody here in AEW to let them know I'm the face of the company. I'm not competing with any other company,” Mercedes Mone told US Weekly.

“A lot of things just trail from the Internet. People are just so in their phones. Going on the Internet and bragging and complaining, and they're not actually living in the real world. When they come out into the real world, and they actually go to wrestling shows and enjoy things with wrestling fans, they know that this is all just so much fun.”

Mone also commented on the end of her run in WWE, noting how excited she is to step outside of the Sasha Banks moniker in order to freely express herself as she sees fit in AEW.

“I'm having the best time of my life and career,” Mone declared. “There's this new freedom. I'm discovering a whole new side of me. I'm not Sasha Banks anymore. I'm excited to wrestle and just show how much this match means to me. The women in AEW have such a huge platform, and we're ready to make a statement that women's wrestling is the best here.”

When AEW decided to debut Mone when she wasn't technically cleared to wrestle, it turned heads around the IWC, with multiple “old-school podcaster”-types using their platforms to critique her promos and presentations. Fortunately, with Mone officially back, she'll finally be able to do what fans have wanted to see all along, wrestle matches, and if she shines in that aspect of the games – something she has long been celebrated for – all of those creticisms will be pushed to the side in favor of some well-earned flowers.

Dave Meltzer talks anti-AEW culture ahead of Mercedes Mone's debut.

With Double or Nothing rapidly approaching, Dave Meltzer discussed the anti-AEW sentiment online on his Wrestling Observer Radio, which has existed since 2019 but has picked up considerably over the last year or two. While Meltzer didn't predict that things would turn out this way when the promotion started, he has since accepted the ridiculousness of it all, as much of it comes from bad-faith actors.

“I think the one thing that I was really surprised about that I did not see coming was the amount of negativity from fans and others to the success. And the wishes of failure. And that's been something that I think has greatly affected the company,” Dave Meltzer explained on Wrestling Observer Radio via WrestleTalk. “I knew for sure there would be certain people who were gonna be negative on it no matter what, and no matter how successful it was or was not, they were gonna be negative on it, and I thought they were gonna be voices in the wilderness. I did not realize how many people would be taking that tact and really bank on the thing dying, and it actually turned into almost an industry of people trying to make their living based on the idea that AEW is folding and Tony Khan is an idiot, and he's a ‘Money mark' and all that, while the company was successful. And now, when it is less popular, it's even louder. And granted, some of the criticism is very valid, and some of it is ridiculous.”

Does Tony Khan have a lot of money? Yes. Did he use that to sign up important free agents like Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, and Mercedes Mone? Sure. But when everyone, from Cody Rhodes, to CM Punk, and beyond, have stated that they believe competition is important in wrestling even after leaving the promotion, it's safe to say AEW fills an important place in the professional wrestling ecosystem, even if you don't personally like the product.