Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that New Japan Pro-Wrestling has not booked Sasha Banks through WWE for Wrestle Kingdom and the promotion believes that come January 2023, the multi-time champion will be a free agent.
A lot of confusion has surrounded Banks’ status with WWE. Prior to walking out of the company in May, she had a few months left on her contract but it’s believed that WWE froze her contract and she never returned to run it down. It’s unknown if Banks and WWE reached a deal for her to be legally-free of WWE as of next month or if she was released but unable to do anything wrestling-wise for a few months.
Meanwhile, a report by Sean Sapp of Fightful states that when the promotion WrestleCade tried to sign Banks to appear at one of their shows, they were told that she was not taking any wrestling-related bookings until January, adding fuel to the fire that Banks will indeed be a free agent by then.
Banks and new IWGP Women’s champion KAIRI have teased wrestling each other on Instagram a few weeks ago and a match between the two on the Wrestle Kingdom card would be a major addition to the broadcast.
AEW is also indirectly in the news about this as they’re promoting Saraya teaming up with a mystery person for the January 11 episode of Dynamite, with many thinking this could indeed be Banks.
Banks recently trademarked several names for life after WWE, including the name Mercedes Mone’, through her company Soulnado, Inc. The terms Mone’ Talks, Bank Mone’, and Statement Maker were also trademarked.