2023 is already shaping up to be a crazy year in professional wrestling. After everything that’s happened in the last 12 months, there’s no telling the repercussions that many of those news stories will have next year. Once such is swirling around Sasha Banks. Rumors continue to develop that she is heading to Japan to participate in Wrestle Kingdom 17 in some fashion. Dave Meltzer added additional elements that further throw gasoline on the impending fire.
Meltzer provided an in-depth update on the developing rumors for what’s in the immediate future for Banks.
“As of right now, she’s done with WWE,” Meltzer stated during Wrestling Observer Radio (via Wrestle Purists). “She is going to the show, she will be appearing on the show, she will not wrestle on the show. She has dates with NJPW in her deal, I do not believe it is signed. She still could sign with WWE and this could all fall apart, but she has pretty much agreed to their terms so as far as they are concerned, they have a deal.”
To think that Banks is “done” with WWE is a major statement. While this is all speculation, it’s perhaps the boldest statement about her status with WWE since she and Naomi walked out the promotion back in May. Fans will argue about what is true and untrue, but the best bet at this time is to wait and see how things play out in the end. Wrestle Kingdom 17 will be here soon and the anticipation will only grow between now and then. What happens that night and the nights to come will shape a major part of wrestling for the immediate future.
Losing Sasha Banks would be a major hit to the WWE women’s division
From a talent perspective, WWE could long boast of having the top women’s division in wrestling. That changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the gross negligence that the group faced under Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis. That negligence in story and character development was a direct catalyst to Banks and Naomi’s walkout according to multiple reports.
Losing Banks would remove a major player from the board for WWE. It would be especially worse if she leaves and joins All Elite Wrestling, which is one of the talking points bubbling as this story develops. Especially with the announcement that Saraya will have a mystery partner for the January 11 show in Los Angeles.
“I do not know how AEW fits in, obviously everyone is going to jump on the speculation that she is the mystery partner for Saraya against Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker on the Forum show January 11 and now if it’s not her then it’s going to be a terrible disappointment. Perhaps it is.”
WWE under Triple H is trying to rebuild the women’s division. The re-signing of multiple ladies and the development seen in WWE NXT shows that there is work being done for the future of women’s wrestling in WWE. Banks could have been a part of that future and there were great matches there to see how things would play out. New matches with individuals like Tiffany Stratton and Roxanne Perez are now in jeopardy. Imagine if Banks got that dream match against Meiko Satomura. And then there’s the WrestleMania main event-worthy showcase with the Four Horsewomen facing off in a Fatal Four-way. All those dream matches may not happen if this rumored change comes to fruition.
Sasha Banks is one of the biggest names in professional wrestling and has proved it every step of the way. To see her flex her muscles and get what she wants in the industry is a powerful moment that hopefully inspires more along the way. If she’s no longer on the WWE roster, that’s a massive loss for the entire promotion.