Sasha Banks: Latest On NJPW, AEW Status, WWE Reactions & More!

The last big Sasha Banks update before she seemingly inevitably shows up in NJPW...


Mercedes Varnado, FKA Sasha Banks, appears destined to show up at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17, which was ongoing in Tokyo, Japan at the time of writing. Until that happens, Fightful Select has dropped another major status update on the multi-time WWE Women's Champion.

The report notes that Varnado has been in good spirits and socialising since arriving in Japan ahead of her expected NJPW debut. Multiple outlets have reached out to her for interviews, though the decision on whether or not to do them was left in Mercedes' hands.

But despite several sources confirming that Varnado will, indeed, be at Wrestle Kingdom, there is still no word on what she'll be doing on the show. This will likely be answered within the next few hours.


Regarding AEW, where Varnado has been rumoured as Saraya's mystery partner opposite Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker on the 11 January Dynamite, internal sources have been "no-sold" when they have enquired about the situation. The talent the outlet spoke to is of the belief that Varnado's mystery debut is on, however.

In WWE, for whom Mercedes last appeared in May 2022, that she was heading to NJPW caught several writers off-guard. WWE was reportedly under the impression that they would be able to get Varnado back in the company by January. This is despite the NJPW deal being cut in November, with Mercedes eventually becoming clear to wrestle elsewhere on 1 January.

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.