KV in 2012
|Birth name||Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado|
January 26, 1992 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Mercedes KV
|Billed height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Billed weight||114 lb (52 kg)|
|Billed from||Cambridge, Massachusetts
|Trained by||Brian Fury
|Debut||August 18, 2010|
Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado (born January 26, 1992) is an American professional wrestler. She is signed to WWE, where she competes in their developmental territory NXT Wrestling as Sasha Banks. She is also known for her time on the Northeastern United States independent circuit.
Professional wrestling career
Chaotic Wrestling (2010–2012)
Mercedes KV started her wrestling career in Chaotic Wrestling, where she was trained. She made her in ring debut on October 1, 2010 in an intergender tag team match, where she teamed with Nikki Roxx in a losing effort to Alexxis and Danny E. Mercedes and Roxx quickly formed an alliance, teaming together regularly and accompanying each other to ringside. On October 22, Mercedes lost her debut singles match to Danny E., and lost a rematch to him on November 13.
On January 7, 2011, Mercedes got her first victory when she and Roxx defeated Alexxis and Mistress Belmont in a tag team match. On February 11, Mercedes took part in a five-women gauntlet match to determinate the inaugural Chaotic Wrestling Women's Champion, but was unsuccessful. She continued competing in singles matches throughout the remainder of 2011, and on December 2, Mercedes defeated Alexxis in an "I Quit" match to win the Chaotic Wrestling Women's Championship for the first time.
KV made her first successfully title defense against Barbie on January 6. KV faced off against Luscious Latasha with Women's Championship on the line on January 27, where KV successfully defended the title. KV successfully defended Women's Championship against Alexxis in a rematch. She successfully defended the Women's Championship twice against Nikki Roxx. On June 1, Mercedes defeated Alexxis, Barbie and Mistress Belmont in a fatal four–way match to retain the championship. Following her win, Mercedes became the longest reigning Chaotic Wrestling Women's Champion in history by breaking Alexxis's previous record of 182 days. On June 24, KV successfully defended the Women's Championship against Barbie. On July 20, Mercedes KV defeated Aida Marie to successfully retain the Women's Championship. KV faced off against Kasey Ray with Women's Championship on the line on August 17, where KV successfully defended the title. KV made her final appearance for Chaotic Wrestling on August 18, where she lost to Ivy Fit in a non-title match. On August 18, the Women's Championship was declared vacant after Mercedes signed a contract with WWE, ending her reign at 260 days.
Other promotions (2010–2012)
On August 8, 2010, Mercedes made her debut in New England Championship Wrestling (NWCW), teaming with Ivy in a winning effort defeating the team of Ariel and Sammi Lane in a tag team match. She returned to the promotion on September 4, 2011, again teaming with Ivy defeating Mistress Belmont and Veda Scott. On September 23, KV defeated Mistress Belmont in a singles match. KV once again returned to the promotion on July 14, 2012 at the Red White and Bruised event, where she was defeated by Adrianna via countout.
KV under the ring name Miss Mercedes, debuted for National Wrestling Alliance on November 19, 2010, where she faced Julian Starr in an losing effort. On the following two nights, Miss Mercedes defeated Sheik Ali and Nick Fahrenheit in singles matches. Miss Mercedes began to feud with The Great Cheyenne, losing to her on several occasions. On August 9, Mercedes faced Arlene in a singles match, where Mercedes emerged victorious.
In June 2012, Kaestner-Varnado participated in a WWE tryout camp and on August 18, it was announced that she had been signed to a contract. She was sent to NXT Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, where she used the ring name Sasha Banks. She made her television debut on WWE NXT on December 12, 2012, losing to Paige. Banks' first televised win on NXT was on the January 23, 2013 episode over defeating Alicia Fox.
Banks then entered a storyline where she would receive letters from a secret admirer, who was eventually revealed to be the villainous Audrey Marie, who returned and attacked Banks on the February 20 episode of NXT due to Marie's jealousy of Banks' success; Marie went on to defeat Banks in a match later that episode. On the March 7 episode of NXT, Banks teamed up with The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) to defeat Marie, Alicia Fox and Aksana in six-diva tag-team match. Banks' feud with Marie ended on the April 3 episode of NXT, when Banks teamed with Paige to defeat Marie and Summer Rae. On the June 19 episode of NXT, Banks competed in the NXT Women's Championship Tournament to determine the inaugural champion but lost to Summer Rae in the first round.
After weeks of influence by Summer Rae to make herself relevant, on the September 11 episode of NXT, Banks was defeated by NXT Women's Champion Paige when Paige reversed Banks' crossbody attempt. After the match, Paige would attempt to console Banks leading to Banks attacking Paige and turning heel in the process. She wrestled her first match as a villain on the September 25 episode of NXT, defeating Bayley with Rae in Banks' corner. After the match, Banks would cut a promo with Rae and debut a new gimmick — "The Boss of NXT". Banks and Rae, now known as the “BFFs (Beautiful, Fierce Females)”, faced Paige and Emma on the October 16 episode of NXT, where the BFFs emerged victorious when Rae pinned Paige. On the October 23 episode of NXT, Banks defeated Emma via small package after poking Emma in the eye to capitalize on a distraction provided by Summer Rae. On the November 13 episode of NXT, The BFFs defeated Bayley and Charlotte in a tag team match when Charlotte attacked Bayley allowing Banks to pin Bayley. After the match, Charlotte officially turned heel and aligned herself with Banks and Rae. On the December 11 episode of NXT, Banks and Rae defeated Bayley and Natalya in a tag team match. In mid-January 2014, as Rae had moved up to the main roster, the BFF's started a rivalry with Bayley, who had aligned herself with Natalya, and lost in both singles and tag team matches.
On April 6, Banks, along with Alexa Bliss and Charlotte, made an appearance at WrestleMania XXX as a part of Triple H's entrance for his match against Daniel Bryan. In May, Banks entered a tournament for the vacant NXT Women's Championship, defeating Bayley in the first round but losing to Natalya in the semi-finals. After a four-month absence from the show, Summer Rae returned on the June 6 episode of NXT Wrestling, distracting Bayley and allowing Charlotte to get the victory. After the match, The BFFs would attempt to attack Bayley, only to be chased away by Emma and Paige. This led to a six-Divas tag team match on the June 12 episode of NXT, which The BFFs lost after Bayley pinned Charlotte. On the July 3 episode of NXT, Charlotte would get retribution over Bayley in a tag team match, where she and Banks defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch. After the match, Charlotte left Banks to get attacked by Bayley, with Banks officially disbanding the team in a backstage segment. The following week, Banks defeated Alexa Bliss. On the August 14 episode of NXT, Banks lost to Bayley in a match to determine the number one contender to the NXT Women's Championship.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Camel clutch
- Multiple forehand chops
- Japanese arm drag
- Headscissors takedown
- Monkey flip
- Multiple pinning variations
- Reverse chin lock with bodyscissors
- Running high knees, to an opponent in the corner
- Springboard arm drag
Championships and accomplishments
- Ring Wars Carolina
- RWC No Limitz Championship (1 time)
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