Sasha Banks New Japan Debut Ruined After Botches & Ronda Rousey Quits WWE!
Sasha Banks appeared at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 in her first wrestling role since her WWE walkout in May 2022. The decorated former women’s champion made her debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome after months of speculation about her future after she and her tag team partner Naomi left an episode of Monday Night Raw over creative issues.
KAIRI retained the IWGP Women’s Title before the lights dropped in the Tokyo Dome and new music hit revealing the superstar now known as Mercedes Moné sporting her ring gear. Strutting down to the ring in what the English commentary team described as the ‘worst kept secret’, she confronted the champ and dropped her before dumping the belt on her now-rival.
Getthe mic, she said: ‘Congratulations on making history tonight. I also know a thing or two about making history. I am here in New Japan and STARDOM to make some more.
‘Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the standard, the conversation, the blueprint and the CEO of this women’s division. So KAIRI… enjoy your IWGP Women’s Championship while you can. Because at Battle in the Valley in San Jose, I’m gonna leave you bankrupt b***h. And you can bank on Moné.’
Sasha hadn’t appeared on screen on a wrestling show since the May 13 episode of SmackDown, while she and Naomi defended the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Shayna Baszler and Natalya two days later on a live event. The following night, they walked out of Raw and the pair had since made waves on the runway at New York Fashion Week and beyond.
There have been plenty of teases about her return to wrestling along the way, including videos of herself training in the ring with talent in the United States and Mexico. Meanwhile, she had also teased the possibility of facing fellow WWE alum KAIRI in STARDOM, which shares an owner with NJPW.
In November, it emerged a company called Soulnado, Inc. was set up in August 2022, and had since filed for a number of trademarks for entertainment and merchandise purposes. Through wrestling trademark attorney Michael Dockins, the company has made moves for Statement Maker, Mercedes Mone’, Mone’ Talks and Bank Mone’, all of which have connections to the Legit Boss, while she has since trademarked Mone’ Banks.
Also in November, she added further fuel to the fire regarding her next move with a cryptic video on Instagram hinting at some big plans in the pipeline and said: ‘As time passes, there’s been so much growth and so much beautiful opportunity and the journey that I’ve been loving but as the time also goes on, the date is coming that I’ve been waiting for [for] the past six months.
‘I can’t wait, but I’m really going to make the most of November to make all my dreams happen in preparation for this date that I’ve been waiting for. I’m very excited.’