Wrestling: Mercedes Martinez

Born Jasmine Benitez, Mercedes Martinez (b. 1980) was a standout American college basketball player from Waterbury CT who turned to Professional Wrestling after an injury and training from Jason Knight. She is best known for her work in SHIMMER, WSU and, as Maria Toro, Wrestlicious. She debuted in 2000 in the New England independent scene, made her way across the country to win the NWA Midwest Women's title and then went back to the start where a new New England Championship Wrestling women's division would be built around her (and Sumie Sakai). From there Mercedes would go on to compete for CHIKARA, CZW, TNA, Ring of Honor and many other promotions. She debuted in SHIMMER on its first show, going to a time-limit-draw with Sara Del Rey.

Among her in-ring achievements, she is a NWA Midwest Women's Champion, New England Championship Wrestling World Women's Champion, a NECW/Yoshimoto Ladies Pro North American Women's Champion, an IWA Mid-South Women's Champion, a Pro Wrestling Unplugged Unified Women's Champion, a Defiant Pro Wrestling Women's Champion, a World Xtreme Wrestling C4 Women's Champion, a WXW Cruiserweight Champion, a 5X WXW Women's Champion, a WXW Diamond Division Champion, a 2x WSU Champion, a WSU All Guts No Glory Champion, a WSU Tag Team Champion with Angel Orsini, IndyGurlz Australian Champion, and Northern Championship Wrestling Femmes Fatales International Champion.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

The Sensation's Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Of course. She even defeated a male wrestler in her debut match.
  • Animal Motifs: Scorpions, for whatever reason
  • All of the Other Reindeer: One of their spokespeople (the other being Leva Bates) regarding Kimberly in SHINE.
    "It doesn't matter how much you want to be loved. No one, and I do mean no one, including me, wants to be associated with a psychopath!
  • Alliterative Name: Normally, not Maria Toro
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Mercedes knows she is better than everyone else and is not satisfied to prove it in the ring. She wants to hear everyone else say it too. But occasionally she gets reminded that she is not capable of all things.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": If she's not wearing crosses or scorpions, you can bet she has some kind of M design imprinted on her legs.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Showed a worrisome lack of self preservation by crashing SHINE 3's legends of wrestling tribute and demanding them all to leave "her" ring. Not only were all four of them trained by the Fabulous Moolah and still capable of fighting, but they were being accompanied by veteran wrestler, and the closest thing she had to a boss, Lexie Fyfe.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Well, she did not compete but she attacked WSU wrestlers such as Luna Vachon under a mask after Martinez was told she was too injured to compete (but she vowed to return to the ring)
  • Color Motif: Even her in Mercedes Martinez's shiniest ring gear, black is the dominant color. If it is absent, it's because she's wearing the other colors but she usually gets it in some kind of way even then.
  • Combination Attack: A top rope double foot stomp at the same time Cheerleader Melissa does a curb stomp.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: T shaped crucifixes are frequently incorporated into her wrestling gear. Combine that with Mercedes being a little rough around the edges at best and... well let's leave it at that. As she says herself, only God can judge her.
  • Crossover: Took the nCw Femme Fatales title to WSU and SHIMMER
  • Cut Short: Vacated her Australia Indygurl reign as she needed to retire from active competition in August of 2014.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Not uncommonly does she dye her hair
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Sort of, in the sense Rain shook her hand and stopped sending her army after Mercedes once it was time. Jessicka Havok broke away from the group and kept going after Martinez though.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable
    • Played straight when she ended Angel Orsini's 9-month reign as WSU Champion. Inverted, when Jessicka Havok ended Martinez' three-year reign as WSU Champion.
    • Ended Talia Madison's undefeated streak in WXW and then took the women's title belt from her. Avoided in the case of Mercedes's own title runs, after her vacating the belt after winning the cruiserweight championship lead to Madison's reign in the first place. When an injury forced her to drop out again, they decided to announce Kacee Carlisle beat Martinez in an "Empty Arena Match" rather than never have her drop the title. (the two had such matches, but not with each other) When Martinez was healthy they had her win the belt back so she could drop it in an actual match to Kimberly. Though Mercedes would end up vacating again before that happened and got to come back and win it fourth time before a proper drop.
    • Mercedes was undefeated in nCw Femme Fatales until she challenged then champion Kalamity. Though Martinez would be the one to end Kalamity's near two year title reign.
  • Defiant to the End: The Midwest Militia may have laid a beating on Mercedes that left her paralyzed from the neck down but that meant Mercedes could still use her mouth to insult and spit on Jessicka Havok.
  • Easily Forgiven: According to commentator Dave Milan of Women's Extreme Wrestling, Shelly Martinez had left her shift at the family cornfield to sneak across the boarder, plant false evidence that Mercedes was an illegal immigrant and steal Mercedes's husband. Despite all this Mercedes still agreed to be her tag team partner on WSU, a team that was predictably ended by Shelly's betrayal. After this Mercedes claimed to want Shelly's blood on her hands but when they got in the ring Mercedes only used a couple underhanded tactics, mostly wrestling normally. (if not for blown spots, not even the storyline would have made the match memorable). Apparently fighting family was just too contrary to Mercedes's upbringing.
  • Evil Is Petty: She hit LuFisto's mascot, Peegaboo, with her nCw Femme Fatales title belt on SHIMMER Volume 62.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Versus Jayme Jameson at SHINE 3
  • Face Heel Double Turn: Athena and herself, respectively, at the SHIMMER Volume 43 tapings on October 2, 2011. Also happened after she lost LuFisto at WSU's Ultraviolent Affair after their draw on Full Steam Ahead.
  • Finishing Move: A brain buster called "Bull Run" is Maria Toro's, a Fisherman's Buster is generally Mercedes Martinez's.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Brittney Savage, thanks to the Midwest Militia.
  • Flipping the Bird: To Amy Lee after beating her up for accidentally hitting Mercedes during a tag match against Sara Del Rey and Cindy Rogers at PWU Haunted. (that' pro wrestling unscripted, not pro wrestling unplugged)
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Downplayed. She vowed to take the World Wonder Ring Stardom Title back to the United States before choking out Nanae Takahashi during a press conference. Martinez was respectful in the ring once their match came around...at the start of it anyway. When Takahashi tried to choke out her out in turn and then no sold Martinez's offense, Mercedes started fighting dirty and threw a tantrum when that didn't work either.
  • Foreshadowing: Mercedes Martinez defeated Madison Eagles but was impressed enough to call her a potential future champion of SHIMMER. Around a year or so Eagles would beat MsChif for the belt. Around two years or so Eagles would be retaining that title against Martinez.
  • Gamebreaking Injury: Particularly in WSU War Games, where she had to leave on a stretcher after a Russian leg sweep off the top rope. Which wasn't enough for Jessicka Havok, who wanted to kill Martinez and tried to finish her with a machete.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Has a skull and crossbones made out of gems encrusted into one of her pairs of wrestling pants.
  • Genius Bruiser: Majored in criminal justice.
  • Gimmick Matches: Several. She was in a tables, ladders and chairs match with Melissa Stripes and Nikki Roxx. She's faced Angel Orsini in a bullrope match, a cage match, a ladder match, and a 60-minute Iron Woman Match that went into Sudden Death overtime, lasting 70 minutes. She topped that when she defeated Lexxus in a 73 minute match, making it the longest women's wrestling match of all time.
  • Good Is Not Nice: For instance, she was the face in her feud with Serena Deeb, but that didn't stop Mercedes from poking Deeb in the eyes after getting the best of her in an exchange of holds on the mat.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door
    • In one particular case, she was supposed to be in line in SHIMMER and WSU but ended up as a baby face in the former and a heel in the latter. Then she switch in both before finally lining up. To a lesser extent, she was also put to work by heels in ROH and FIP while still being a baby face in SHIMMER.
    • While Mercedes was a heel in STARDOM, she was still very much a baby face in SHIMMER. This wouldn't be so noticeable if STARDOM hadn't used heroic SHIMMER footage in her hype videos. While the WSU crowds were sympathetic to Martinez at the outset of her feud with LuFisto, the nCw Femme Fatales crowds didn't appreciate Mercedes Martinez coming onto their shows and beating their country woman to a bloody pulp, apathetic to what LuFisto did south of the border.
    • Mercedes Martinez was a baby face everywhere while Maria Toro, who never has been, was active.
    • Mercedes Martinez turned face in SHINE after she protected Ivelisse Vélez from Valkyrie, whom she was previously content to avoid. She remained a heel in SHIMMER and nCw Femme Fatales though.
  • Hired Guns
    • YRR hired her to fight Radiant Rain in Full Impact Pro
    • The Lovely Lacey (who was also one of the YRR) hired her to "assassinate" Daizee Haze in Ring Of Honor. This partnership came to an end when Lacey was dragged into the Age Of The Fall mess, which the Vulture Squad was opposed to.
  • Homage: Her 3 Amigas suplex combination is one to Eddie Guerrero.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: For a gag in a custom Slam peg where she interrupted MsChif's photo shoot (perhaps bitter about being squashed in a previous peg), arguing that she had better muscles, which lead to them being involved in a (one sided) contest to show up each other. MsChif complains about not being left handed after losing in arm wrestling but Mercedes is not either so MsChif loses again. If it was a lure to goad her into rematch, MsChif swallowed it hook, line and sinker, deciding that was something she knew she could beat Martinez at, but could does not mean would...
  • I Have the High Ground: Mercedes became more of a brawler than high flier overtime but when she flies she makes it count. Take her 2008 WSU Army Of One Falls Count Anywhere match with Angel Orsini, where she threw Orsini from one balcony to another and then jumped after her. Lost the match, won a standing ovation. She'd follow this up by diving off a steel cage onto Orsini when she got another shot at the WSU title, but Lea Morrison, Kylie Pierce and Radiant Rain all ran out to ensure Martinez lost again.
  • I Work Alone: Her main criticism of Ivelisse Vélez is that Ivelisse came into SHINE as part of Valkyrie, while Mercedes needed no one. She also mocks Daffney for putting together an "All Star Squad" and vows to take out each one of them, one by one. That said, Mercedes is all too happy to take advantage of any assists that do come in her favor. When Rain ran out during her match with Jazz and knocked Jazz out with a pair of brass knuckles, Mercedes called it the greatest event in the history of the promotion.
  • I Resemble That Remark: To Daffney claims that Mercedes Martinez disrespects people and the veterans of the business, she counters that doesn't but then goes on to say they're all washed up, uncared about, forgotten, need to learn their place and move over for her.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Mercedes did pretty well wrestling members of Daffney's baby face squad, even Martinez's loss to Amazing Kong can be discounted as Kong wasn't a member until immediately afterwards. Her attacks on the Squad outside of matches became less and less effective as they gained more and more members though. When Martinez declared her intentions to retire Valkyrie's new leader they didn't even let her get that far, "insurance policy" April Hunter ensuring she would be unable to defeat Serena.
  • Jack of All Stats: Described as "Lanky" when against Betsy Ruth and "Muscular" when against Britani Knight. She can fly around almost as well as the noticeably smaller wrestlers such as Sumie Sakai and she can drop Amazing Kong on her head. In fact, Martinez usually has to lift and drop Amazing Kong several times to keep her down.
  • Jobber: If you only watch WWE, you might have seen her on Sunday Night Heat.
  • Kiss Gusting: Her initial reaction to wrestling "Mr. Beautiful" Rudy Russo was to induce gagging and her comeback started with her power bombing him after he kissed her.
  • Leitmotif: Puhbare's "Mercedes"
  • Loser Leaves Town: Beat "Pune Tang" in "The First Ever Deportation Match!"
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Her efforts to keep Cheerleader Melissa and Courtney Rush from getting a shot at the nCw FF International title got both them and LuFisto a shot in a Fatal Four Way, which Rush won.
  • No Sell: Downplayed, Mercedes's showed no pain when April Hunter started biting her boot Millennium Wrestling Federation but still released the hold, giving the impression she didn't want Hunter's drool on her footwear.
  • One Steve Limit
    • Macaela Mercedes was to be a front runner in Kiryoku Pro too, should the experiment have proved successful. Mercedes apparently does drive a Mercedes by the way, Dave Prazak wants to ensure you that he never had MsChif defended her title belt against a car.
    • Justine Mercedes goes by Justine Silver on the East Coast and on World Wrestling Network shows. We wonder why.
  • Power Stable: The Vulture Squad with Jigsaw, Julius Smokes, Ruckus and Jack Evans in ROH.
  • Put on a Bus
    • Departed from Ring Of Honor after the rest of the Vultures got sidelined by injuries. She'd be willing to return if called on but the group disbanded and no one else ever did.
    • Stopped receiving calls from WSU following her falls count anywhere loss to LuFisto.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: (in IWA Mid-South): Angie Martinez, Big Pun, Cuban Link, Domingo & Sunkiss' "Live at Jimmy's"
  • Red Baron: "The Latina Sensation"
  • Religious Bruiser: She has no problem asking God to forgive her for extremes taken in the past, and those she knew were going to be done in the near future. Tried to beat the fear of something into Jessicka Havok, after she really put Martinez's faith to the test.
  • Revenge SVP: She attacked Nikki Roxx during her SHINE birthday party and dumped the cake on Roxx and hostess Daffney Unger over the (mistaken) belief Unger had not invited her.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Mercedes often cleaned up and had shiny gear in the early stages of her career, but her look become rougher and her gear more muted and reduced in sheen. Maria Toro showed she could still clean up if she wanted.
  • Signature Move: She favors a not quite rocking horse and a seated double under hook stretch. Also likes to do swinging neck breakers to those hung up in the ropes. Big boots and side kicks too. Used to be known for an Anderson spine buster.
  • South of the Border: Her bullfighter gimmick as Maria Toro.
  • Spicy Latina: Mercedes Martinez is well aware of and not at all ashamed of her Latin rage. She flares up with pride, she's got an island to represent after all.
  • Spirited Competitor: Mercedes seeks to better herself by fighting as many people as she can, but then she starts to think she is already better than everyone else.
  • Squash Match: Took her time with Carla Jade at ChickFight IV. Also, Niya may have given Mercedes some competition in WXW's Diamond Division, but gave none to Mercedes in EVOLVE.
  • Tag Team:The Latina Loca Mami's with Shelly Martinez. And of course with Angel Orsini.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She and Rain did not have a history that would suggest a cohesive unit but Mercedes spoke of Rain as a friend and was willing to temporarily team with her in SHINE. Most of the teeth clenching was from Rain, who resented the idea of teaming with Mercedes. Maria Toro and Felony seemed okay with each other though.
  • The Chick: There's a reason Jack Evans called her "Booty Vulture", and it's not just because he's pretty fly for a white guy.
  • The Rival
    • She has a long rivalry with Sumie Sakai, being Sakai's welcome to North America and would be all too happy to kick her back off the continent (without the NECW's women's championship, which Sakai took back to Yoshimoto after winning it the first time). They did team up once in CHIKARA but lost to the Wild Cards Blackjack Marciano and Eddie Kingston.
    • Faced Nikki Roxx in CZW, Defiant Pro Wrestling and NWA Cyber Space, among many others. They worked together for a while in WSU but it did not last, as Roxx turned on Martinez.
    • Mercedes has put over Amazing Kong and MsChif many times in many different places. Amazing Kong went so far as to kick out of Martinez's fisherman buster, which no one in SHIMMER had been able to do and in fact kicks out of it reliably. Still Mercedes holds some high profile victories over them nonetheless, particularly in defending the WXW women's and WSU titles.
    • LuFisto's looking to outdo them all. She made this clear when she hid in a casket during at WSU Uncensored Royal V to ensure Martinez did not win the WSU title a third time, even if that meant Havok keeping the belt. Their match at NCW FF Femmes Fatales X - Part 2 was in the main event over Kalamity's title defense against Athena. Lufisto leapfrogging both Nikki Roxx and Martinez is also the reason Mercedes had to wait for six SHINE shows to pass before she got a title shot (though Martinez blames management) and is the reason she's only had one hosted by the promotion itself, having to get another at Dragon Gate USA. Mercedes's most meaningful victory against LuFisto may have been at SHIMMER Volume 61, being it was falls count anywhere, the same match type that put Martinez out of WSU, but it was hardly the end of their feud.
    • A more friendly "East Coast/West Coast" rivalry with Cheerleader Melissa\Alissa Flash, who is a semi frequent tag team partner in addition to a rival for singles belts...well it wasn't always friendly.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Albeit, a hidden girly streak she's violently protective of. Apparently Mercedes has a thing for collecting dolls, if her promo on Kimberly is any indication.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In 2010, Mercedes puts aside her differences with rival Jazz to induct her into the WSU Hall Of Fame. Fast Forward to 2012, Jazz who by now has mellowed out and happy to defend the new SHINE promotion's honor, is receiving a Legacy Award from Diva Dirt and Mercedes crashes the ceremony to put herself over.
  • Tournament Arc: Has participated in a few, winning WSU's J-Cup and Queen And King Of The Ring alongside Julio Dinero (going over Jennifer Cruz and Nicky Oceans). She's also won the WXW Elite Eight Women's Tournament in 2006 and 2008 (beating Kacee Carlise and Lexie Fyfe) then New Horizons Pro Wrestling's 2014 Global Conflict Shield (defeating Madison Eagles and Evie).
  • Villainous Rescue: Valkyrie coincidentally saved her from Amazing Kong in SHINE. Mercedes was technically a heel herself but one of much less significance at this point. She took a good hard look at the situation and said, "nope".
  • Versus Title: While there was always plenty of other stuff on the cards, WSU would sometimes make the Mercedes match the title (Martínez vs Rain II, Martínez vs. Pérez)
  • Villain Team-Up
    • With Lexie Fyfe, Sweet Saraya and The Canadian Ninjas for the "SHIMvivor Series" on SHIMMER's fiftieth volume.
    • With Leah Von Dutch against Daffney's All-Star Squad in SHINE, Dutch wanting to get rid of Nikki Roxx. This in turn lead to a villainous rescue from Kimberly.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: She tried to help Joey Spector regain the RCW championship from Alissa Flash and tried to win it herself for him when that didn't work (which didn't work either)
  • Vitriolic Best Buds
    • She has a long standing friendship-feud with Angel Orsini. In WSU alone it goes tag team partner, break up feud to attempted forced haircut, mutual enemy to reunited tag team partner, turn out of envy, feud and makeup, of course some variation of this pattern had been in place a while before she joined that promotion.
    • Despite shouting "You chose the wrong Boricua!" at SHINE's management after Ivelisse Vélez won the company's championship, the two of them still got along fairly well afterwards.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: The Puerto Rican flag on her torso.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Her matches with Bombshell Bo and Wrath at the NHPW Hardcore Resurrection were just about the last straw on Mercedes's back, leaving her completely incapable of lifting Hailey Hatred for her Fisherman's buster, or anything else for that matter, when she defended the WSU title at ACE Collision Course 2009. Previously Martinez had been able to wrestle as a rough equal to Hatred and had already retained the title against Hatred and Jessicka Havok in a triple threat match and would wrestle roughly equal with Hatred at future shows. But at the ACE event, Martinez was clearly outmatched.
  • Worthy Opponent: How she eventually came to view Cindy Rogers and Angel Orsini. She used to see Serena Deeb this way, until she cut out a piece of Mercedes's hair in WSU.
  • Wrestling Family: A kayfabe one whenever Shelly Martinez is not using one of her ring names (who knows, they might be related but not in the way Dave Milan would have you believe)
  • Wrestling Psychology
    • People who haven't wrestled her in the time but just watched her tapes were under the impression that she had gotten stiffer over the years. (the show on her website is titled Stiff Shots To The Ear) She hasn't, but Mercede's strikes have progressively gotten more dangerous looking. Her suplexes, brain busters and all variations of such she does have always been this way.
    • While not obviously selling her arm after suffering through an upside down hammerlock on the knee of Nanae Takahashi, all of Martinez's tosses, slams and suplexes after that point were done with assistance from the ropes or turnbuckles to lift Takahashi, showing her arm was obviously not at full strength.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Mercedes Martinez may have been the longest running WSU Champion in the belt's history, but she was also the shortest, breaking Alexa Thatcher's one day reign when she beat Jessicka Havok in her rematch for the belt only to immediately lose it back later in the night when Havok invoked her rematch clause right when a match between Martinez and Brittney Savage was starting up and Sassy Stephie interfered to ensure Havok took the title (otherwise it probably would have been Savage)