A new report says Sasha Banks is “not going back” to WWE with the star now expected to make an appearance for New Japan Pro Wrestling at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on the 4th of January in the Tokyo Dome.
The future of Sasha Banks has remained a mystery ever since she and Naomi walked out of an episode of Raw in May 2022 despite being advertised as competing on the show. WWE took the unusual step of airing the dirty laundry with the two stars as Michael Cole announced on SmackDown that they had been suspended by the company and stripped of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Reports from the time stated that they had handed over the title belts to then-Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis before they left.
Sasha Banks headed to the Tokyo Dome
In the months that followed, conflicting reports emerged suggesting at different times that Sasha Banks was completely done with WWE and conversely that she could be on her way back at any time. But now it looks unlikely that she will be returning any time soon.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that he believes The Boss is done with WWE for the time being:
“‘She’s more trouble than she’s worth. She’s asking for so much money.’ Which is, of course, the attitude a month ago of ‘Oh my god how can she ask for so much money?’ January 4th Tokyo Dome and other dates, and Mercedes Vernado or whatever name she will go with, but as of right now – she’s done with WWE. It can change at any moment, but that’s the situation right now.”
“I had talked with WWE about it and they basically had nothing to say as far as the situation. Obviously, we’d talked about this before, they [WWE] had been talking to both of them, but they had been talking to her [Banks] about a return and they were very far apart on money. That was the last that I had heard.”
“What she was asking for was a very high number for a WWE woman wrestler, but if you look at the amount of money that WWE takes in, she would still be underpaid. Everyone from Roman Reigns to Brock Lesnar is underpaid…That was the last that I had heard. Now, her contract was set to expire at the end of the year. However, as we’ve seen with so many people, they could freeze the deal.”
Regarding the proposed appearance at Wrestle Kingdom for Sasha Banks, Meltzer added:
“She is going to the show, she will be on the show, she will not be wrestling on the show. She has dates booked with NJPW. In her deal, which I believe is not signed, she could still sign with WWE and this could all fall apart, but she has pretty much agreed to their terms. As far as they’re [NJPW] concerned, they have a deal.”
“She is going to be making appearances for NJPW in 2023. Barring a last-minute change and her backing out on what she has agreed to, she’s not going back to WWE, but you cannot always rule that out.”
Former WWE Superstar KAIRI became the first ever women’s champion in New Japan history when became the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion at the NJPW/Stardom Historic X-over in November 2022. While Sasha Banks is not scheduled to wrestle at the January 4th show, she could make clear what her intentions are especially as KAIRI will defend her crown against Tam Nakano.