Mercedes Mone, formerly known as Sasha Banks in WWE, has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury back in May. Mone was meant to become the first-ever NJPW STRONG Women’s Champion, but made the call to put the title on her opponent, Willow Nightingale, after the injury occurred. It’s now been more than 6 months since Mone was hurt, and it appears she’s approaching a return to the ring. Mone posted a video on YouTube today offering a glimpse of her training regimen, with the title “The Countdown Begins.”
As of now, it’s unclear where Mone will be headed when she’s ready to return. She appeared in the crowd at AEW All In back in August and there were reports that Mone was meant to work with the promotion before her injury derailed plans. However, with Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair all interacting on WWE TV, along with references to the Four Horsewomen, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see Sasha Banks make a return to her former promotion, especially with Vince McMahon no longer in charge of creative. Bayley even teased the arrival of her longtime friend ahead of WWE Survivor Series: WarGames this past weekend, but that did not come to pass.
A return to WWE is far from guaranteed, and Mone has a number of options in front of her. Mone’s former tag team partner, previously known as Naomi in WWE, is currently signed to Impact Wrestling as Trinity. Mone and Trinity walked out of WWE together in 2022, with reports that the women were unhappy with the booking of the women’s tag team division. Both women then disappeared for an extended length of time before showing up in different promotions.