Sasha Banks Headed To NJPW – NJPW is bringing Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnado) to their Wrestle Kingdom 17 event, which is scheduled for January 4 from the Tokyo Dome, and January 21 from the Yokohama Arena.
There’s no word yet on what capacity Banks will be there in, or if she’s appearing in front of the crowd, but NJPW is set to bring her to the show.
A new report from Fightful Select notes that the WrestleCade convention tried to book Banks for their Thanksgiving weekend convention, but were unsuccessful.
Despite a high asking price, WrestleCade promoters were confident Banks would yield a return, and they were planning on booking her. However, talks went on and the promoters were told that Banks is not taking any pro wrestling bookings until after January 1, 2023.
Wrestle Kingdom is obviously after January 1, which makes the timing interesting. Another significant event that takes place after January 1 is the AEW Dynamite from Los Angeles on January 11, which is to feature Saraya and a mystery partner vs. Britt Baker and AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter.
There are said to be multiple companies interested in Banks’ status and if she will be available for appearances, even one-off bookings.
Banks appeared on USA Network’s Barmageddon show, co-hosted by WWE Hall of Famer Nikki Bella, for their recent season premiere, and the show was heavily promoted on WWE programming.
Sources within WWE were asked about Banks’ status following the heavy promotion, but no one had heard of any change or update to her WWE status, or at least they were not willing to say as much.
However, several AEW talents are excited about the possibility of Banks coming in. One source quickly agreed with the idea of Banks being on weekly AEW programming as another “anchor” for the women’s division, something that could jump-start interest, and potentially help viewership.
Regarding Banks’ NJPW appearance in January, sources there would not confirm or deny the news, which is usually something they’ll quickly deny if not true.
Banks has been away from WWE since she and Naomi walked out of a RAW taping in mid-May due to creative issues, while the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.
It’s been rumored that Banks and Naomi were on their way back to WWE at different times, but that obviously has not happened yet. Banks and Naomi both remain listed as active Superstars on the WWE roster.
As we’ve noted here and here, Banks recently filed to trademark several names under her Soulnado Inc. company, including her real name, Mercedes Varnado. Banks and Naomi have also pursued non-WWE projects as of late, including modeling, while they’ve also booked convention appearances.
Sasha Banks Headed To NJPW