Mercedes Mone, formerly known as Sasha Banks in WWE, sensationally claimed the IWGP Women’s Championship at Battle In The Valley in San Jose, California on February 18th. But whilst Mone seems set for a successful stint in New Japan Pro Wrestling, one former WWE colleague is hopeful she will one day make a return Stateside.
Bayley says WWE is Sasha Banks’ home
Mone walked out of WWE alongside Naomi during the May 16th, 2022, taping of Raw before resurfacing eight months later, making her much-anticipated New Japan debut at Wrestle Kingdom 17 where she laid down a challenge to KAIRI for the IWGP Women’s title. She claimed that Championship at Battle In The Valley in a match that WWE Superstar Bayley was in attendance for.
The leader of Damage CTRL has a storied history and friendship with Mone, with the pair famously headlining a sold out Barclays Center in an instant classic at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in August 2015. When speaking on a recent edition of Ariel Helwani Meets, Bayley revealed that Mone was thrilled that her friend and former tag team partner was able to be in attendance live to see her secure IWGP gold:
Everybody knows how much she loves this and how much wrestling means to her and how much WWE means to her. She wouldn’t be there without WWE and I think it meant a lot to her that I was able to go
The pair twice claimed WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship gold together as part of The Boss n Hug Connection, including lifting the inaugural Championships with victory in a six-team battle at Elimination Chamber in 2019.
Helwani would go on to press Bayley about how close Mone was to resigning with WWE and whilst the California native remained tight lipped about negotiations she did confirm that she hoped her former partner would return to WWE someday:
Ill never give up hope she will come back. This is her home, this is her dream. I love to see what she has been doing and what she will be doing over the next few months. She’s literally going to take over the world and take the world by storm. But I know this is her home and where the heart is and by her heart I mean me, so she needs to come back to me.