An update has emerged on potential plans for Sasha Banks’ first match with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).
As previously reported by PWInsider, ‘several sources close to the situation’ expect the former WWE Women’s Champion, real name Mercedes Varnado, to be at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17.
While it is currently unclear in what capacity Varnado will appear on the January 4 show, some have speculated that Banks will enter the IWGP Women’s Championship picture.
Dave Meltzer now reports that after Wrestle Kingdom 17, whoever the IWGP Women’s Champion will be will defend the gold on February 18 in San Jose, California.
On January 4, KAIRI will defend her gold against Tam Nakano, meaning that it will either be KAIRI or Nakano making this defence.
While Meltzer didn’t confirm that Varnado will be the challenger, Varnado teased a match with KAIRI in October, sharing a fan-made graphic on her Instagram Story.
NJPW announced plans to introduce the IWGP Women’s Championship in July, shortly after confirming that wrestlers from STARDOM would be competing during their US shows moving forward.
The new title will be defended at NJPW events both in Japan and in the USA.
KAIRI became the inaugural champion in November at the NJPW X STARDOM Historic X-Over event, defeating Mayu Iwatani in the finals of the IWGP Women’s Championship tournament.
Varnado recently finished shooting for her first movie role.
You can watch behind the scenes footage of Varnado filming an action scene right here.
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