WWE Rumors: Latest on Sasha Banks' Contract Negotiations with STARDOM

Adam WellsDecember 18, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 13: Sasha Banks attends Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man: No Way Home" Los Angeles Premiere on December 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

While Sasha Banks is expected back in a wrestling ring soon, STARDOM co-founder Rossy Ogawa was initially hesitant to use the former WWE superstar due to money.

Per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), Ogawa originally rejected bringing in Banks because "it wasn't cost-effective."

Meltzer added it's unclear how much Banks will be earning, but it's a "huge per-event deal" with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Earlier this week, Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Mukherjee) that Voices of Wrestling Banks said is being paid more than the $100,000 per show total Chris Jericho got when he worked with New Japan from 2017-20.

Jericho denied on Twitter he had a per-appearance deal with New Japan, but he did make more per-event with the promotion than for most of his WrestleMania matches:

Chris Jericho @IAmJericho

For the record, the money I reportedly made during my run with <a href="https://twitter.com/njpw1972?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@njpw1972</a> from 2018-2020 online currently is completely wrong. I never had a flat per appearance deal, I was paid according to the event. And I made more per event than I did for MOST of my Wrestlemania matches.

Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported last week that Banks will be appearing at New Japan's Wrestle Kingdom 17 event on Jan. 4.

It's unclear exactly what role Banks will have on the show. She could challenge the winner of the Kairi-Tam Nakano match for the IWGP women's championship.

Banks teased a match against Kairi on Instagram earlier this year that Kairi posted on Twitter:

KAIRI /悫悤ćƒŖšŸ“ā€ā˜ ļø @KAIRI_official

ā€¼ļøšŸ˜³ <a href="https://t.co/eIqzISPGgE">pic.twitter.com/eIqzISPGgE</a>

Banks and Kairi worked together in WWE from 2016-21. Kairi, who was known as Kairi Sane in WWE, left the promotion when her contract expired in December 2021. She returned to Japan with STARDOM in February.

Kairi defeated Mayu Iwatani in the main event of Historic X-Over on Nov. 20 to become the first IWGP women's champion.

STARDOM and New Japan are both owned by the same parent company (Bushiroad), and Meltzer noted the Legit Boss' deal includes a date for one STARDOM show to help build up the brand for the all-women's promotion.

"Their belief is that with 5.6 million Instagram followers and 2.4 million Twitter followers, far more than any of their talent, that she has gigantic mainstream appeal," Meltzer wrote.

Banks hasn't wrestled on television since she and Naomi defeated Natalya and Shayna Baszler to retain the WWE women's tag team championships on the May 13 episode of Friday Night SmackDown.

Both Banks and Naomi walked out of WWE during the May 16 edition of Raw because of creative differences.

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