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Sasha Banks-Japan Update; Bronson Reed on WWE Return; Matt Cardona Hypes Cody Rhodes

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2022

BOSTON, MA - MAY 8: Six time WWE Womens Champion Sasha Banks holds up her arms after throwing out the first pitch before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park on May 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and All Elite Wrestling.


Sasha Banks Headed to Japan Early

While it's the wrestling world's worst-kept secret that Sasha Banks will be making her New Japan debut at Wrestle Kingdom, she's apparently getting a jumpstart on her new career by heading over to Japan early.

Hiraki Sawa reported in a since-deleted tweet that Banks will head over to Japan this week in hopes of landing sponsorship deals with Japanese companies.

A Grand Slam champion during her tenure in WWE, it appears Banks is set for a full-scale world tour after abruptly leaving the company alongside Naomi in May. While there has been no confirmation she will step into the ring during her New Japan appearance, it's been suggested that Banks could go one-on-one with KAIRI for the IWGP women's championship.

There has also been buzz about Banks potentially joining AEW, likely as Saraya's mystery partner at the Jan. 11 edition of Dynamite in Los Angeles. It's noteworthy that no one within AEW has gone out of their way to tamp down the buzz, and the company rarely fails to deliver in these hyped-up moments.

At the very least, we'll all be getting Sasha Banks—or whatever her new moniker is—on our screens very soon and that's a win.


Bronson Reed Makes Surprising WWE Return

Of all the possible endings to Monday's ladder match between The Miz and Dexter Loomis, no one predicted this one.

Bronson Reed made his shocking return to WWE as Loomis was preparing for victory, handing the victory to The Miz in exchange for a heaping pile of cash.

Reed was released by WWE last year as part of across-the-board cuts at the NXT brand, and he wasted no time flourishing after his departure. The Australian spent time in Impact but made his biggest impact (pun intended) in New Japan, where he defeated Kazuchika Okada in perhaps the most surprising result of this year's G1.

It didn't take any time for Wrestling Twitter to point out it's a bit of a downgrade going from winning against Okada to being The Miz's hired hand, but Reed clearly secured a hefty bag—both in kayfabe and real life—for his services.

Hopefully we'll get to see a more complete version of Reed during his second WWE run.


Matt Cardona Praises Cody Rhodes

Since his 2020 WWE release, Matt Cardona has not been shy about putting his body on the line. His "king of the deathmatch" gimmick got him over big time in GCW and was one of the best heel storylines of 2021.

While Cody Rhodes defeating Seth Rollins in Hell in a Cell didn't quite present the visual brutality of a deathmatch against Nick Gage, it was likely the most physical pain any wrestler has gone through during a match in 2022.

Cardona heaped praise on Rhodes, a longtime friend, and called the moment "iconic."

"He had to do that match," Cardona said on Insight with Chris Van Vliet. "Was it the smartest for his health? Maybe not, but it was such an iconic moment. And it really showed that he had the balls and passion for pro wrestling. I think he gained a lot of people's respect if he didn't have it already."

Rhodes has been out of action since the night after Hell in a Cell, though he should be primed for a return in the coming month or so.

Cardona could also be finding his way back to WWE sooner than later. While nothing has been confirmed, his wife, Chelsea Green, is reportedly on the precipice of returning to the company.


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