As previously reported, Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnado) debuted for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 and the rumors about Sasha, now known as Mercedes Mone’ possibly being Saraya’s mystery partner on the January 11 episode of AEW Dynamite in Los Angeles have ramped up.
Fightful Select has reported on what talent in AEW have said about Sasha possibly joining the company:
“Talent that Fightful speaks to in AEW tell us they’ve been ‘no sold’ when asking about Sasha Banks being Saraya’s partner, but they’re still of the belief it’s her. The fact that it wasn’t shot down either on screen or internally, promoting it a month out, it being a week after her Wrestle Kingdom appearance, and the cast of characters involved in the tag match were all points brought up to us by talent in the company when assuming it was her.”
However, one talent also believes that Sasha didn’t complete a deal with AEW as of last week because of still having contractual ties to WWE until the new year.
Sasha recently thanked numerous WWE Twitter accounts including Triple H and Vince McMahon.
Mercedes Varnado wants to earn more money than Jericho in Japan
According to VoicesOfWrestling.com, NJPW has reportedly been working on a limited appearance deal for Varnado with “a fee that would be significantly higher than what New Japan paid for Chris Jericho” and make her “the highest paid Bushiroad (parent company of NJPW and Stardom) contracted wrestler.”
It remains unclear if Varnado has signed the deal.
During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted the following:
“Voices of Wrestling said that it was a per-appearance deal at the highest price that Bushiroad has ever paid anyone, and they said it was more than Chris Jericho. Which to me sounds… I don’t know. Chris Jericho made $100,000 a shot when he was working for New Japan, and, man, $100,000 a shot, she’s gonna have to … with Chris Jericho he was actually underpaid because of how much revenue he drove between New Japan World and ticket sales at the different shows and things like that. But I don’t see her driving that revenue, but I guess we’ll find out.
The Tokyo Dome may be one thing, but for other shows, and a lot of them in the United States, I don’t see where she’s gonna drive $100,000 of extra revenue. On a per-appearance basis, obviously tons more than she would have made in WWE, but in total, they’re not gonna book her on enough shows to where she would make in the long run what she would make in WWE. It’s only a few shows, she has plenty of time to do other projects, perhaps work for AEW.”