Sasha Banks, WWE
Sasha Banks during the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. WWE


  • Mercedes Mone opens up parts of her WWE departure
  • "Nobody knows the story," Mone says about the speculations surrounding her career
  • Mone currently holds the IWGP Women's Championship after defeating Kairi in mid-February

WWE stars leaving the company to try their hand elsewhere is a tale as old as the industry itself, but when the pro wrestling star formerly known as Sasha Banks went to Japan, many wondered why.

Currently going by Mercedes Mone inside the ring, the real-life Mercedes Varnado has since explained that no one outside of herself, and likely her inner circle, knew anything about it until now.

During an appearance at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, Mone opened up on her free agency and sudden departure from WWE.

"First of all, nobody knows the story. You don't know the story, but you're reading whatever you want to read and believe whatever you want to believe. Nobody knows the story because I haven't said anything, and I'm not going to say anything because that's just the classy boss that I am," Banks first said.

"As I'm growing in my career, I'd been in the WWE for almost ten years. I had to have a change. I had to feel something different in my heart and my soul. I had to go after a whole new dream and a whole new chapter and a whole new destiny for me."

In May of last year, Mone, alongside tag team partner Naomi, walked out on WWE a few hours before an episode of Monday Night Raw, placing their women's tag team titles on the desk of WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis' desk which kickstarted the whole saga.

At the time, the women's locker room was split on what to feel about what had happened while an angle was canceled due to the unforeseen circumstance.

Over time, the pair remained radio silent on the whole matter as fans and outlets tried their hardest to make sense of what was happening behind the curtains.

Triple H's ascent to power as head of creatives had fans believing that a return for the pair was imminent due to their great relationship with the decorated in-ring performer-turned-executive.

However, months would pass before WWE fans started losing hope about a return happening with Mone and Naomi enjoying their stints outside of the squared circle.

In mid-November, Mone fully leaving behind the company that helped make her a household name gained traction as she filed trademarks for merchandising and what would turn out to be her new in-ring name.

Mone made her debut under New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) on Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4, again sending social media into a frenzy.

Her first match under the highly respected promotion happened on February 18 as she took the IWGP Women's Championship from Kairi at "Battle in the Valley."

Regardless of the whys pertaining to her departure, Mone certainly appears to be happy where she is and betting on herself looks to have always been the move since day one.

"This is what I wanted for me, and this is what I wanted to make happen for me, that's it. This is what I'm going for. This is my dream," Mone later added.

Sasha Banks, Naomi, WWE
Sasha Banks and Naomi celebrate winning the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 38 Night 2 on April 3, 2022. WWE