SASHA Banks is one of the most recognisable women in the pro wrestling scene.
Here's everything you need to know about her memorable exit from the WWE ring.
Why did Sasha Banks leave WWE?
Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado, known best by her ring name Sasha Banks, is an American professional wrestler and actress.
After beginning her WWE career in 2012, Banks was assigned to the developmental territory NXT where she would later win the NXT Women's Championship.
Her match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect in October 2015 was the first women's match to ever headline an NXT TakeOver, the first Iron Woman match in WWE history, and the longest women's match in WWE history at the time, lasting 30 minutes.
Their match was voted by Pro Wrestling Illustrated as Match of the Year, with Banks also being voted as Woman of the Year.
In the same year, Banks was promoted to WWE's main roster, where she went on to hold the Raw Women's Championship five times.
But her WWE career would come to an end after a decade-long run in 2022.
Banks and co-star Naomi grabbed headlines last year after walking out of WWE before their main event match on Monday Night RAW on May 16.
She and Naomi were stripped of their Women's Tag Team Championship and WWE later released a statement saying that the pair had walked into the office of former Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis and placed their titles on his desk before they walked out.
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There has been much speculation about the reason behind the pair walking out but WWE said: "They claimed they weren’t respected enough as tag team champions.
"And even though they had eight hours to rehearse and construct their match, they claimed they were uncomfortable in the ring with two of their opponents – even though they’d had matches with those individuals in the past with no consequence".
According to Sportskeeda however, recent reports suggest that Banks left WWE because of her salary.
It was reported that she didn't return to the Stamford-based promotion because she requested a high price to renew her contract, with the numbers discussed being the same as Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Who is Sasha Banks' husband Sarath Ton?
Sarath Ton is an American costume designer and former professional wrestler.
The 40-year-old is currently signed to WWE under the ring name Mikaze.
Ton made his WWE debut on Monday Night Raw in 2012 Raw under the ring name Rutherford Hayes, where he teamed with Willard Fillmore in a handicap squash match against Ryback.
After sustaining an injury from his last WWE match in 2015, Ton was hired on by the WWE under the ring name Mikaze, working as a costume designer.
Banks' and Ton's wedding was kept as a private event, but it is believed the pair tied the knot in 2016.
Speaking to Lillian Garcia on Garcia's Making Their Way To The Ring podcast in 2017, Banks admitted that she is married, and she explained the reason behind the secrecy as well.
“You’re the first one I’ve admitted it to. I am married. I just hide it because our fans are so crazy sometimes, you know?" she said.
"I don’t know, I just think fans are just so crazy. I see what they write to him on Twitter, and I don’t like that stuff.
"If you’re saying he’s ugly, or he shouldn’t be with me because of this or that, that hurts me, you know?
"I just don’t like that he reads that every day, you know what I mean? And he’s such an amazing person.”
Where is Sasha Banks now?
After walking out of WWE last year, Banks made her debut appearance for New Japan Pro-Wrestling on January 4, 2023, at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
She now goes by the ring name Mercedes Mone.
The pro wrestler also made her video game debut in WWE 2K17, and has since appeared in WWE 2K18, WWE 2K19, WWE 2K20, and WWE 2K22.
She also appears in the mobile games WWE SuperCard and WWE Mayhem, as well as the spin-off game WWE 2K Battlegrounds.
Banks made her acting debut in the second season of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian where she portrays Koska Reeves.
In her final appearance as Sasha Banks, she was a celebrity contestant on an episode of the USA Network game show Barmageddon, which aired on January 2, 2023.
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On January 13, 2023, it was reported that Banks alongside Paul Ben-Victor had been cast in an action-thriller film The Collective, where she played a character named Nikita.
According to Sportskeeda, as of 2023, she has a staggering net worth of $4million.
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