Mercedes Martinez spoke to Newsweek just after it was announced she would making her return to the WWE Mae Young Classic. Last year, she lost in the semi-finals to Shayna Baszler. Here are some of the highlights:
Getting a second shot at the WWE Mae Young Classic:
"It's now time to win it all. I came close last year, I lost to a good friend of mine. This is the year to take it home, there's no stopping me. I have a lot to prove, and I'm still proving myself no matter how many years I'm in this business. ... There's a lot of pressure, there's always pressure. I think the pressure now is making sure I'm ready and whatever I did last year, I bring 100 percent more. Me going to the semifinals with Shayna, it pretty much solidified that Mercedes can go. There's a lot of pressure for me to go to the finals and win it this year. So I'm not taking this very lightly. It doesn't matter who is in front of me, I'm ready to go in there and step up my game 10 times more than last year. I proved last year I could go the distance, and this is the year I have to take it home, no matter what. I'm ready."
Not being a stereotype:
"I'm Puerto Rican and we kind of get lumped into the whole 'Luchador' sense of it. I don't wear a mask, I'm not a high flyer, but we get stereotyped. I want to make sure with my wrestling and everything I do, I represent Puerto Rico. I want everyone to understand that not all Hispanics can high fly, we are also there to throw down and get the job done. My goal is to be a role model, and I'm very happy and proud to represent Puerto Rico and women."
Wanting an all-women's WWE show:
"I hope there to be an all-women's show for WWE. Not just a tournament or special occasion, but maybe a weekly thing that's just all women's wrestling. That's what we're missing. We just don't want to be an attraction, we don't just want to main event a pay-per-view ... we want to be the show. We want to men to be the attraction for once."
Women she's excited to see in the WWE MYC:
"I'm very excited for Jinny, who I've been watching for the last two years. Her hard-hitting style and her aggressiveness, we'll match very well. For Kaitlyn, I know she's been training in Miami so I'm excited to see her come back and see what she can do. Even Io Shirai, who I was hoping to have a chance to wrestle before she got picked up when Stardom came down to the U.S. It's a very talented core of women, but there's new faces, new talents. I have to work ten times harder than the young bucks."
Martinez also discussed more on her career in wrestling. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.