More on Sasha Banks’ Deal with NJPW for Wrestle Kingdom 17 – Backstage Reaction, WWE Contract Update

As noted before, Sasha Banks is currently expected to make an appearance for New Japan Pro Wrestling at their Wrestle Kingdom 17 event next month in Tokyo, Japan.

In regards to the backstage reaction to Banks’ deal with NJPW for the event, Fightful Select reported that several AEW talents spoken to stated that they are currently excited over the idea of Banks potentially joining the company once her WWE contract expires. One source spoken to stated that they feel Banks would be another anchor for AEW’s Women’s division and as someone who would kickstart interest in it and significantly increase viewership for the company.

Those spoken to within NJPW reportedly did not confirm nor deny reports of Banks’ upcoming appearance for the company. These same sources reportedly were stated to be the type who would usually quickly deny something being true if it was not happening based on prior contact with them.

Those spoken to within WWE reportedly stated that they have not heard of any changes to her status within the company.

In regards to her booking with NJPW, the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported on Twitter that his sources stated that this booking was not done through WWE. Meltzer reported that if WWE were to not block her appearance, then it would be an indication that her contract with the company had expired and she would be a free agent. Meltzer reported that NJPW officials are currently under the belief that Banks will be a free agent by the time of their event.

In regards to Banks’ current contract with WWE, Meltzer reported in a recent episode of the Wrestling Observer Radio that his sources stated that Banks and WWE are currently very far apart in terms of monetary amount for a potential new deal. Meltzer also reported that it is currently not known if WWE will freeze her contract to make up for time missed due to her current suspension but at the moment this does not appear to likely happen.

“[WWE] were talking to her about a return and they were very far apart on money. That was the last that I had heard. Again, could AEW afford her? She wanted a lot. What she was asking for was a very high number for a WWE woman wrestler but again, if you look at the amount of money WWE takes in, she still would have been underpaid.”

In regards to Banks’ upcoming appearance with NJPW, Meltzer reported that his sources stated that she is currently not expected to wrestle at the event. Meltzer reported that Banks also recently agreed to multiple dates with NJPW for 2023.

“I do know this, she will be going to the show. She will appear on the show, she will not wrestle on the show. She has dates with New Japan Pro Wrestling in her deal, I do not believe it is signed. She could still sign with WWE and this could all fall apart but she has pretty much agreed to their terms. So as far as they are concerned, they have a deal.”

In regards to a potential deal with AEW, Meltzer reported that it is currently not known if Banks would sign a deal with AEW once her WWE contract expires. Meltzer reported that one of the big issues revolves around money and if AEW would be comfortable in paying her very high asking price based on what she is currently asking from WWE and is something NJPW would not be able to afford for a regular contract.

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