WON: Sasha Banks Set for Stardom Event Weeks After WrestleMania amid WWE, NJPW Rumors

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 15: Mercedes Varnado attends Marvel Studios "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" Los Angeles Premiere at El Capitan Theatre on August 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)
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Sasha Banks is reportedly expected to appear at a major event held by Japanese women's wrestling promotion Stardom on April 23, just three weeks after WWE's WrestleMania 39.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc's Ella Jay), All-Star Grand Queendom was announced for April 23 at the Yokohama Arena on Thursday, and Banks looked "locked in" for the show, although it isn't yet clear what her exact role will be.

Meltzer (h/t WrestlingInc's Sean Neumann) previously confirmed a report that Banks will appear at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 17 on Jan. 4 after reaching a high-dollar agreement with New Japan in November.

Since both NJPW and Stardom are owned by Bushiroad, it would make sense for Banks to appear for both companies.

Banks has not been seen in the world of pro wrestling since she and Naomi walked out prior to an episode of WWE Raw in May because of apparent creative differences.

WWE suspended Banks and Naomi and stripped them of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, leaving their future with the promotion in flux. It seemed more likely that they would return after Vince McMahon retired and Triple H replaced him as head of creative in July, but the two reportedly never reached an agreement.

Instead, Meltzer noted that Banks is likely to have some level of involvement with the NJPW Women's Championship match between former WWE star Kairi and Tam Nakano at Wrestle Kingdom.

Meltzer added that "many believe" Banks' in-ring return will occur at a Feb. 18 event in San Jose, California, potentially in the form of Banks challenging Kairi.

The events of that show could potentially set the stage for another Banks match at All-Star Grand Queendom.

Fans have also speculated on Banks being the mystery tag team partner for Saraya against Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter on the Jan. 11 episode of AEW Dynamite, but Meltzer reporting that Banks' first match back may not be until February suggests All Elite Wrestling might not be in the cards for Banks.

One can assume that returning to WWE will always be an option for the five-time Raw women's champion, three-time WWE women's tag team champion, one-time SmackDown women's champion and one-time NXT women's champion, but all signs are pointing toward NJPW and Stardom being Banks' focus for the foreseeable future.

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