Sasha Banks Status with NJPW, WWE, & AEW Update, Banks Issues Thanks to WWE & Others

As noted before, Sasha Banks, real name Mercedes Varnado, is currently set to make an appearance at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 event this Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Varnado’s contract with WWE officially expired at the end of 2022.

Fightful Select reported that those spoken to stated that Varnado has been in good spirits and socializing with others since her arrival in Japan. Several talent spoken to within NJPW stated that they have not been told of the exact plans for Varnado at NJPW’s event due to NJPW officials have been very secretive about it.

In regards to AEW, several talents spoken to stated that they have been “no sold” when they asked AEW officials if Varnado will be Saraya’s mystery tag team partner but they are still under the belief that she is the mystery person. Those same talents also stated that the rumors of Varnado being the mystery person not being shot down either on AEW programming or internally, the match taking a place a week after her high profile Wrestle Kingdom appearance, and the people involved in the tag match were the basis for their assumption. One talent spoken to stated that they believed that a deal between AEW and Varnado has not been done nor “could have been completed” as of this past week due Varnado’s contractual situation with WWE at the time.

In regards to WWE, it was reported that Varnado’s signing with NJPW had caught some of WWE’s creative team off guard even though the deal had been made this past November. One WWE writer recently spoken to stated that they were under the belief that WWE could or would be able to bring back Varnado for a surprise appearance at this month’s Royal Rumble 2023 event. It was reported that since the news of Varnado’s signing with NJPW, there had been no talks within WWE regarding that potential idea.

In regards to Varnado, she recently gave her thanks to WWE, Vince McMahon, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, and others on Twitter. Varnado even gave thanks to her former WWE character Sasha Banks.