Former WWE Superstar Sasha Banks, who is now going by the moniker Mercedes Mone, has been one of the key figures in drastically uplifting women’s wrestling in the company. The six-time women’s champion was part of the Four Horsewomen during her time in NXT, alongside Becky Lynch, Bayley, and Charlotte Flair.
What seemed like an unbreakable bond between WWE and Banks came to an end on May 16, 2022, when the then women’s tag team champion walked out of a RAW taping along with her partner, Naomi. It was reported she was unhappy with the direction of the women’s tag team division and wanted better opportunities for her colleagues. Since then, there have been several rumors on when the Grand Slam Champion would return to the promotion.
However, all in a move that thrashed many hopes, Banks would go on to sign with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and make her debut for the promotion at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4, 2023. She later went on to win the IWGP Women’s Championship from Kairi Sane at Battle in the Valley one month later.
Several fans still hope that Sasha Banks will eventually return to WWE. Although speculation is rife, Banks is unlikely to ever return in a full-time capacity. It’s not to say that ten years later, she won’t pop up in a Royal Rumble match, but as a day-to-day superstar, the speculation for it is slim.
Banks already achieved all she could in WWE. Unlike someone like Cody Rhodes, the former women’s champion does not have a point to prove. She is a six-time women’s champion, a former NXT Champion, and a three-time women’s tag team champion. However, in Japan, Banks needed to fulfill her legacy of being considered one of the greatest ever in the industry.
As someone who is a well-known admirer of Eddie Guererro, Mercedes Mone would love nothing more than to establish herself as an icon in NJPW. The late great Guererro had a run in the Japanese promotion from 1992 to 1996 and was booked as the second incarnation of Black Tiger. By establishing herself in Japan, Mone is not just emulating her idol but also matching his feats.
Fans are also well-aware of her love for Hollywood and her dreams of being a star on the silver screen. After wrapping up her stint in NJPW, Sasha Banks could move to Hollywood. With a role in Mandalorian already on her resume, it could be her ambition to land a bigger role.
If her goals do end up coming to fruition, it makes little sense for Sasha Banks to return to WWE on a full-time basis. Unless WWE can entice her with an offer she can’t refuse and booking that puts her at the top of the roster, The Legit Boss could very well have said goodbye to the company.
However, fans would agree that whatever happened backstage on May 16, 2022, was not the ideal way for such a decorated star to leave the promotion. Therefore, one more run to set the record straight should be an option that both parties could look to explore.