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The eyes of the wrestling world are on New Japan Pro Wrestling tonight as Mercedes Varnado (Sasha Banks) is expected to appear at Wrestle Kingdom 17. Varnado might be making more headlines next week if the AEW rumors are true.

Fightful Select reports that some of the AEW talent they spoke with said that they have been "no sold" when asked if Varnado is the person showing up next week to team with Saraya.

It was noted that the fact that the rumor was not shot down has people in the company assuming that it's her. Tony Khan has had the opportunity to shoot down the rumor to quell expectations but he has not done so. Unlike what they did with CM Punk and Bryan Danielson, there have been no hints given that it could be her but that could also be that they couldn't drop hints until after January 1st when she officially became a free agent.

Fightful reported that at least some writers in WWE were caught off guard by the New Japan Pro Wrestling news and while that deal was done in principle by November, one writer in WWE was under the impression that the company could or would get Banks back by the Royal Rumble. However, since news broke about Banks in NJPW, the WWE source had not heard anything else on that front.

Varnado, via her company Soulnado Inc., filed to register the following trademarks:

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The trademark filings would be another indication that she has no plans to return to WWE anytime soon.

This is just a snippet of the story. For complete details, please visit Fightful Select at Patreon.com/Fightful.