News broke on Thursday that NJPW is bringing Sasha Banks in for the company's signature event, Wrestle Kingdom 17, on 4 January 2023 - and the prospect has sparked excitement within New Japan's closest North American collaborators.
Fightful Select reports that AEW roster members are excited about the prospect of Banks potentially coming into the Tony Khan-helmed promotion. One particular source believes that having Sasha on weekly television would give AEW's women's division an "anchor", sparking interest in the scene and helping the company grow its viewership.
Fightful's NJPW sources would neither confirm nor deny Banks' reported Wrestle Kingdom appearance. Per the write-up, a situation like this would typically be denied if it were untrue.
Banks' WWE status remains up in the air, as it has been for most of 2023. The multi-time Women's Champion has been inactive in the promotion since she and Naomi walked out during a Raw taping in may, resulting in the duo being suspended indefinitely and stripped of their Women's Tag Team Championships. Neither has returned to television since then.
As well as filing a number of trademarks for "Mercedes Mone'" and her real name, "Mercedes Varnado", Banks has made several public appearances outwith WWE since May.