An update has emerged on plans for Sasha Banks, real name Mercedes Varnado, in NJPW, ahead of her upcoming debut for the promotion.
Amid Varnado’s wrestling hiatus, it was recently reported that Varnado is expected to be at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
At the time of the initial report, it was unclear in what capacity Varnado would be making an appearance at the Tokyo Dome in.
Per Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Varnado will be a free agent by the time the January 4, 2023 show rolls around.
Stating that the former WWE Women’s Champion has verbally agreed to multiple dates with NJPW, Meltzer said:
“I do know that she’s going to the show (Wrestle Kingdom 17), she will be appearing 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 still could 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.
“She will be there, it’s part of a deal to work with New Japan. I do not know how AEW fits in.
“Obviously everyone is going to jump to the speculation that she is the mystery partner of Saraya against Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker on the (January 11) show.
“New Japan Pro Wrestling cannot afford to pay the numbers that WWE was willing to pay her, I can say that. AEW could afford that.”
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It has been speculated that Varnado will confront KAIRI at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
At the event, KAIRI will defend her IWGP Women’s Championship against Tam Nakano, after becoming the inaugural titleholder at the November NJPW X STARDOM Historic X-Over event.
NJPW reportedly has an IWGP Women’s Title bout booked for February 18 in San Jose, California, which many have predicted will be when Varnado makes her NJPW in-ring debut.
Varnado teased a match with KAIRI in October, sharing a fan-made graphic on her Instagram Story.
Meltzer also shared an update on the current situation between Varnado and WWE, which you can read about right here.
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