Sasha Banks is one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling. Since walking out of WWE back in May due to disagreements with the booking direction of the women’s division and the tag team titles specifically. News broke on Thursday that New Japan Pro Wrestling is working to bring Banks in for Wrestle Kingdom 17.
First reported by PWInsider, Banks is “expected to be at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 17.” That event is scheduled for Wednesday, January 4, and will hail from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
Since leaving WWE, Banks has teased working in Japan. Specifically, she pointed at the idea of competing against the current and inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion, KAIRI. Yes, the same Kairi Sane from her days back in WWE. KAIRI is currently signed to STARDOM but that promotion shares the same corporate ownership as NJPW, allowing the crossover usage of her talents.
Banks’s last match was back in May, with her last televised appearance on the May 13 edition of WWE SmackDown. She and Naomi were the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, but rumors swirled around booking plans that the two champions did not agree with leading to their fallout with the promotion. WWE made an aggressive push to publicly demean their actions, but fans of both Banks and Naomi rallied around them. Both women have appeared in multiple media opportunities outside of wrestling, including the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere, and major fashion shows.
This also comes at a time when AEW is promoting a surprise partner for Saraya in tag team action against Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter on January 11. This episode of AEW Dynamite is scheduled for Los Angeles where Banks resides.
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