Latest Update On Sasha Banks' Role At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17

Details on what may be in store for Sasha Banks at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 on 4 January.

Sasha Banks NJPW

Expect Sasha Banks (or "the former Sasha Banks" by the time the show comes around) to at least make a cameo at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17.

This is the latest from PWInsider's Mike Johnson, who has provided a small update on Mercedes Varnado's 4 January role. Although it has been widely reported that she won't be wrestling at Wrestle Kingdom, details on Banks' exact role have been scarce since news that she'd be at the Tokyo Dome for NJPW's biggest show of the year first broke.

Involvement in the IWGP Women's Championship scene, viewed as critical to NJPW's global expansion attempts, has been speculated. Former WWE star KAIRI defends the strap against Tam Nakano at WK17, levelling-up the show's usual STARDOM showcase bout.


Johnson also reports that Varnado started her journey to Japan yesterday (20 December) and is anticipated to arrive today. The former WWE standout is expected to spend several weeks in the country.

WWE is yet to formally announce Banks' release from the promotion despite her inactivity since May, when Sasha and Naomi walked out during a Raw taping. still listed her as an active roster member at the time of writing.

Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.