Sasha Banks Thanks Vince McMahon, Triple H, More amid Rumored WWE Departure

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 4, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 26: Mercedes Varnado as Lexus Shines Bright on the Red Carpet for Marvel Studios' "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" Premiere on October 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Lexus USA)
Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Lexus USA

Former WWE Superstar Sasha Banks delivered a host of thank you notes on Twitter Tuesday amid news that she is now a free agent after her contract with WWE expired.

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a>

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/RealKingRegal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RealKingRegal</a>

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/TripleH?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TripleH</a>

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/WWEUniverse?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWEUniverse</a>

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Krew?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Krew</a> I love you so much

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/VinceMcMahon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VinceMcMahon</a>

Mercedes Varnado @MercedesVarnado

Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SashaBanks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SashaBanks</a> šŸ’™

Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp tweeted on Sunday that Banks was "free to take wrestling bookings" after the calendar flipped from 2022 to 2023.

Banks had been with WWE from 2012-22. She is a five-time Raw Women's champion, a one-time SmackDown women's champion and a three-time Women's Tag Team champion, among other accolades.

Banks had been off air since May, when she and tag team partner Naomi walked out during a taping of Raw in Norfolk, Virginia.

Mike Johnson of PW Insider provided the reported details.

"The word making the rounds backstage at the taping is that Sasha Banks took issue with some of the planned creative for the original main event, a Raw Six Pack Challenge to determine Bianca Belair's next challenger at Hell in A Cell. Banks had a meeting with Vince McMahon and the belief among those we've heard from is that when McMahon didn't choose to change direction on the plans, Banks wouldn't back down on her issues and made the decision to leave the taping."

Naomi left with Banks. Four days later, Michael Cole announced on SmackDown that Banks and Naomi had been stripped of their tag team titles and suspended indefinitely.


Sasha Banks and Naomi have been suspended indefinitely. There will be a future tournament to crown the new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. <a href="https://t.co/8xhJe0l5bV">pic.twitter.com/8xhJe0l5bV</a>

In December, Fightful Select (h/t Cain A. Knight of Cageside Seats) reported Banks had negotiated her release from WWE "months ago" so long as she didn't take any other bookings until 2023.

The calendar has now turned to a new year, and Johnson reported that New Japan Pro Wrestling brought Banks to Tokyo for the Wrestle Kingdom 17 event at the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday. The event will feature Kairi defending the IWGP Women's Championship against Tam Nakano.

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