Sasha Banks apparently came close to coming to a new deal with WWE, but talks fell apart due to some financial demands that she made.
The ongoing saga of Mercedes Varnado (aka Sasha Banks in WWE) potentially returning to WWE or going somewhere else has been going on for the past six months. That’s because Banks and her fellow WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Naomi walked out on WWE in May when they weren’t happy about the creative direction of their careers.
Since then, there have been reports about Banks agreeing to some sort of new WWE deal, but that obviously didn’t happen. Recently, it was reported that Banks will be appearing at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4th, which should lead to some matches in Japan.
In an update, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available via subscription) has provided some clarity on the situation nothing that she wasn’t able to do anything wrestling-related post-WWE until 2023.
“Sasha and WWE did not reach terms for a new contract. WWE directly wouldn’t say anything about her but those in the company over recent months had said the sides were not close on money. She and WWE reached an agreement in the summer regarding her leaving and the agreement was they would release her to be a free agent rather than freeze her deal, but she couldn’t do anything with wrestling until the start of 2023.”
“In the fall, with the regime change, she was back in negotiations to return and it was considered that it was close to a done deal, aside from the money figure, and the two sides ended up being far apart.”
As Meltzer continued, he wrote more about the money issues while claiming that Banks wanted a deal similar to what Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair receive, but WWE did not offer her a deal close to that.
“Obviously, New Japan couldn’t pay anywhere close to a WWE deal, as many of the women in the company earn in excess of $1 million per year and the biggest stars are well above that figure. She was said to be seeking a number along the levels of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair and those internally have said she wasn’t offered numbers close to that.”
“They said that she’s not seen internally as somebody who would be on top for the next five years, but is seen as someone who could get a singles or tag team title run, but has peaked as a star aside from the reality that was acknowledged that if she would return, there would be a ‘honeymoon’ period where people would go nuts for her.”
Following the reports about Sasha Banks wanting a lot of money to return to WWE, clips of her appearance on Broken Skull Sessions with Steve Austin have re-appeared as she talked about how she perceives herself.
Sasha Banks appeared on WWE superstar Bayley’s Instagram Live on December 14th and talked about wrestling training in Mexico while also talking to NXT’s Roxanne Perez and Indi Hartwell. However, Banks did not comment on appearing in NJPW or about if she would ever come back to WWE.