With continued speculation running wild as to Sasha Banks’ WWE status, here is everything we know about the situation so far.
On the 16th of May, it was reported by PWInsider that the main event of Monday Night Raw had to be changed when Sasha Banks and Naomi left the arena ahead of the show due to Banks’ frustration over creative plans. The match in question was meant to be a six-pack challenge to determine the next contender for Bianca Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship and was set to feature Sasha Banks, Naomi, Becky Lynch, Nikki ASH, Doudrop, and Asuka.
According to the report, Banks met with Vince McMahon to express her creative concerns, but the WWE Chairman refused to change plans and she made the decision to walk out instead of participating in the match. Her tag team partner Naomi went with her, leading to a segment on the show where Becky Lynch confronted Adam Pearce and the main event was changed to Becky Lynch vs. Asuka.
Before they left, Sasha Banks and Naomi are also said to have handed over their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship belts to Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis.
Five days later on SmackDown, it was left to veteran announcer Michael Cole to tell the world that WWE had suspended Banks and Naomi indefinitely, going on to say the pair had “let us all down.” Banks and Naomi were also stripped of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
Sasha Banks was seen publicly online for the first time since the walkout where she introduced herself under her real name of Mercedes Varnado confirming that she had PRK surgery on her eyes.
Has Sasha Banks been released by WWE?
On the 16th of June Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc. reported that WWE had come to terms on the release of Sasha Banks. Giri noted that it is currently unknown whether Banks requested her release or if the move came from within WWE internally.
Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men podcast added to Giri’s report indicating that The Boss had sought legal help to acquire her release:
“I cannot confirm she’s been released. But, I did hear late last week that her attorneys were working on getting this done.”
WrestleVotes then weighed in on the situation, reporting that the word from SmackDown in Minneapolis was that the initial report of Banks being released was true.
On June 19th Reddit user Kermit – who was the first person to report on Cody Rhodes returning to WWE – gave their insight into the situation seeming to confirm that Banks was now an ex-WWE Superstar and the release had happened “some weeks ago.”
Mike Johnson of PWInsider seemingly scotched that rumour with a report on the 28th of June that stated both Naomi and Sasha Banks are still listed on the active WWE roster within the company. The report emphatically states that neither Sasha Banks nor Naomi have been officially released by WWE.
Seemingly in response, Raj Giri, who originally reported on the release took to social media to give the information he knows as to when Sasha Banks was released and who in the company let her go:
“Here’s what I know about Sasha Banks. She was released on June 10th and it came from Erika Schreiber, VP of Business and Legal Affairs for Talent Relations. As for why WWE has not said anything or removed her, the rumor is that leadership is trying to smooth things over”
As of the 29th of June, WWE nor Sasha Banks have commented on the situation, and Banks is still listed as a “Current Superstar” on WWE.com.