Backstage News On STARDOM's Plans For Sasha Banks

Sasha Banks will be making her first wrestling-related appearance since May 2022 at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 17. But questions remain about Banks's status with NJPW or its sibling promotion STARDOM. 


Joe Lanza of Voices of Wrestling has provided more information regarding Banks' situation in a new report. Sources have told VOW that negotiations between Banks and Bushiroad, the parent company of New Japan and Stardom, began months ago, not long after Banks walked out of WWE, and that there was mutual interest between Banks and Stardom Executive Producer, Rossy Ogawa, in working out a deal.

Ultimately, sources noted to VOW that a deal wasn't reached after Banks requested an asking price far beyond the budget of Stardom, causing Ogawa to lose interest. Months later, however, Bushiroad President Takaaki Kidani would give Ogawa a greenlight to pursue signing Banks to a deal, leading to what sources described as a limited appearance deal for Banks that would make her the highest contracted wrestler under the Bushiroad umbrella. The deal would also reportedly dwarf what Chris Jericho was paid during his run with New Japan years ago.


VOW was unable to confirm at this time whether Banks had signed a deal with Bushiroad at this time, nor if there was any interest in them bringing in Naomi for any appearances. Sources did note to VOW, however, that bringing in Banks is an attempt by Bushiroad to solidify Stardom as the number two wrestling brand in Japan at this time. As such, VOW did confirm that plans call for Banks to be in a program for the IWGP Women's Championship, which will be defended by the current champion, KAIRI, at Wrestle Kingdom 17.