Mercedes Martinez was a recent guest on Busted Open Radio to discuss a variety of topics.
During her appearance on the show, the current ROH Women’s Champion commented on hiding the fact that she was a lesbian when she entered the wrestling business, Jazz helping her become comfortable as a wrestler, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On Jazz helping her become comfortable as a wrestler: “It took a really long time, to be honest. It was hard for me at first, coming from where I was trained from and hiding who I truly was. It was always ‘Hey, I want to wrestle,’ but I couldn’t show myself in the light. In that era, it was the whole T&A aspect of wrestling, it was the Divas. I was always told ‘You have to do that to actually make it in this business.’ I kept myself very reserved, very quiet, very shy and kept myself hidden. It’s that old adage of ‘Keep your ears open and your mouth shut.’ If you want to get far in this business, that’s what you have to do.
“That’s when I met Jazz. She came to my school with Jason Knight, and she was one of the first people that kind of said ‘You have to be who you are. You are a diamond in the rough. You are that person that’s going to trailblaze. You are that person that’s going to make a difference. Don’t let anybody tell you any differently about who you want to be, because there’s a sense of people molding you. People are always going to try to mold you, but you really have to stick to your guns and your true mission.’ And that’s what I did.”
On her first tryout with WWE in 2007: “I think it took until my first tryout with WWE when I realized ‘WWE is not where I want to be right now.’ That was around 2007, and that’s where SHIMMER started. I knew at that time, that WWE was not for me, because their mission wasn’t my mission. It was the Divas Era, they wanted to mold you into the cookie-cutter type female. And that’s not what I’m about. I’m about being true to who I am, what I know what I can do and it was always just women’s wrestling.”
On being an out lesbian in the industry: “Being in this business, you couldn’t be openly out. I’m a lesbian, and I couldn’t be that person. I had to hide that part of me because the locker room was very taboo. The media was ‘No, you can’t do this.’ It came to the point in my career that I had to hide that because for me to advance, you can’t put that out there for fear of safety for me and my family, because that was not socially acceptable in all realms of life. So it was a very humbling experience. But now being here, 41 years going on 42 years old, I know who I am. And ain’t nobody going to tell me any different.”