Mercedes Mone was indeed scheduled to win the inaugural NJPW Strong Women’s title on Sunday night before suffering an injury during the match.
Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported that Mone called an audible and had Nightingale pin her, knowing that the injury she suffered was serious enough to keep her off for an extended period of time.
The referee was not on the same page though as first he stopped the count when Mone didn’t raise her shoulder up to kick out, leading to a very awkward moment. A second powerbomb from the AEW star then sealed the deal for the surprise victory.
Nightingale is the second AEW star to currently hold an NJPW title, with Kenny Omega also carrying the NJPW United States title.