There was a time when it seemed like Sasha Banks and Naomi would never, ever, ever, ever, ever return to the WWE. They disliked the immediate plans to push the duo as singles performers in the lead-up to Money in the Bank, took issue with the creative direction of the company’s women’s tag team division – which was basically nonexistent – and ultimately left their straps on the table after a heated conversation before a June episode of Monday Night RAW.
Both performers changed their names on social media, Michael Cole delivered a very scripted speech about how unprofessional the former champions acted, and the WWE Universe was promised a tournament to decide the next holders of the promotion’s lone tag team belts.
And yet, a month has passed, and not only has no such tournament been held, but all has been silent on the Banks/Naomi front, with only an occasional rumor or Comic Con booking to fuel the flames. Were the duo headed towards their release a la oh so many performers before them? Or would the WWE hold onto their contracts for as long as possible to avoid their debuts in AEW under the names Mercedes Varnado and Trinity Fatu?
Well, as it turns out, the duo are very much still under contract, and according to WrestlingNewsCO via Wrestle Ops, the duo have reportedly reached an agreement to return at some point in the future. While for now, this report should probably be viewed as more of a rumor than a hard-and-true fact, as the situation between the two parties has been ever-changing, to say the least, this reporting does line up with that of Dave Meltzer’s back on July 28th, when he detailed the potential for a reunion between the two parties (more on that here). Here’s what he had to say on the Sports Illustrated podcast at the time, as dictated by Ian Carey of The Wrestling Observer.
“It’s kind of up in the air. I mean, they’re gone. The last I heard was that there would be attempts to be made to reconcile, especially with Vince (McMahon) gone. So, it’s up in the air. I don’t think there’s anything definite just yet.”
Will it actually come true? Will Sasha Banks and Naomi come back and re-establish the WWE Women’s Tag Team Division? Only time will tell, but based on how the returns of Bayley, Dakota Kai, and the woman now known as Iyo Sky were received during SummerSlam, Triple H has a chance to secure a near-unprecedented win for the new WWE.
An agreement has been reached for Sasha Banks and Naomi to return to WWE.
– WrestlingNewsCO pic.twitter.com/MoiTzBdbjD
— Wrestle Ops (@WrestleOps) August 1, 2022
Getting back Sasha Banks and Naomi would be massive for the WWE.
There aren’t that many examples of stars in their prime leaving the WWE and then returning to become fixtures of the championship picture once more. It happened with the NWO in 2001, Brock Lesnar in 2012, Drew McIntyre in 2017, Rey Mysterio in 2018 – if you want to call it that – and most recently with Cody Rhodes in 2022, but for the most part, when a performer leaves the promotion, they don’t often come back better than before.
Legends aside, the WWE has developed an MLB-esque farm system that gets replenished every year, and for the most part, they’re looking to build new stars instead of plucking back formerly released stars who didn’t quite make the cut and then re-established their careers in another company.
Dante Turo ·
Matty Breisch ·
And yet, the mass releases from 2020-2022 changed that math ever so slightly, as Triple H now finds himself leading a company that has released or, in Sasha Banks and Naomi’s case, iced out many of the stars he helped to build, which could severely affect his ability to tell the stories he wants to tell. While bringing back the likes of Kai, Shirai, and even everyone’s favorite dream get, Johnny Gargano, would certainly play big parts in establishing the new era of WWE, there isn’t a return around with more weight behind it than the returns of Sasha Banks and Naomi.
Banks specifically is one of the most popular performers in wrestling today and is a member of the Four Horsewomen alongside Becky Lynch, Bayley, and Ric Flair’s daughter Charlotte, who was reportedly at her father’s last match even if she wasn’t shown on camera. With the former two currently set to face off in an extended program alongside Bianca Belair, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky, and the latter teased to return at SummerSlam, why not bring “The Boss” back to the WWE with her partner in crime to run their own invasion angle on SmackDown? It would certainly sell some shirts and draw a ton of attention back to The Fed.
Keep an eye on this one, folks; there’s certainly more to this story coming.