Sasha Banks

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Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks March 2015.jpg
Banks in March 2015.
Birth name Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado[1]
Born (1992-01-26) January 26, 1992 (age 23)[1]
Fairfield, California, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Mercedes KV[1]
Miss Mercedes[1]
Sasha Banks
Billed height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)[2]
Billed weight 114 lb (52 kg)[1]
Billed from Boston, Massachusetts[2]
Cambridge, Massachusetts[3]
Trained by Brian Fury[1]
Brian Milonas[1]
Todd Smith[1]
Debut 2010[1]

Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado (born January 26, 1992) is an American professional wrestler. She is signed to WWE, where she performs in their developmental system, NXT, under the ring name Sasha Banks and is the current NXT Women's Champion. She is also known by the ring name Mercedes KV outside WWE.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Chaotic Wrestling (2010–2012)[edit]

Mercedes KV started her wrestling career in Chaotic Wrestling, where she was trained.[1] 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.[4] On October 22, Mercedes lost her debut singles match to Danny E.,[5] and lost a rematch to him on November 13.[4]

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.[4] 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.[1][4][6]

KV made her first successfully title defense against Barbie on January 6.[1][4] KV faced off against Luscious Latasha with Women's Championship on the line on January 27, where KV successfully defended the title.[1][7] KV successfully defended Women's Championship against Alexxis in a rematch.[1][8] She successfully defended the Women's Championship twice against Nikki Roxx.[1][4] 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.[9] On June 24, KV successfully defended the Women's Championship against Barbie.[1] 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.[1] KV made her final appearance for Chaotic Wrestling on August 18, where she lost to Ivy Fit in a non-title match.[1] On August 18, the Women's Championship was declared vacant after Mercedes signed a contract with WWE, ending her reign at 260 days.[1]

Other promotions (2010–2012)[edit]

On August 8, 2010, Mercedes made her debut in New England Championship Wrestling (NECW), teaming with Ivy in a winning effort defeating the team of Ariel and Sammi Lane in a tag team match.[1] She returned to the promotion on September 4, 2011, again teaming with Ivy defeating Mistress Belmont and Veda Scott.[1] On September 23, KV defeated Mistress Belmont in a singles match.[1][10] 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.[1][11]

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.[1] On the following two nights, Miss Mercedes defeated Sheik Ali and Nick Fahrenheit in singles matches.[1] Miss Mercedes began to feud with The Great Cheyenne, losing to her on several occasions.[1] On August 9, Mercedes faced Arlene in a singles match, where Mercedes emerged victorious.[1]

WWE[edit]

NXT (2012–present)[edit]

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.[12] She was sent to NXT, WWE's developmental territory, where she adopted the ring name Sasha Banks. She made her television debut on NXT on December 12, 2012, losing to Paige.[13][14] Banks' first televised win on NXT was on the January 23, 2013, episode by defeating Alicia Fox.[15][16] Banks then entered a storyline where she received letters from a secret admirer, who was eventually revealed to be the evil 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.[17][18][19] Banks' feud with Marie ended on the April 3 episode of NXT, when Banks teamed with Paige to defeat Marie and Summer Rae.[20][21] 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.[22]

Sasha Banks as NXT Women's Champion in March 2015.

After weeks of influence by Summer Rae to make herself relevant, Banks was defeated by NXT Women's Champion Paige on the September 11 episode of NXT. After the match, Paige attempted to console Banks leading to Banks attacking Paige.[23] Two weeks later, she defeated Bayley, while accompanied by Rae. After the match, Banks cut a promo with Rae and debuted a new gimmick as "The Boss of NXT".[1][24] Banks and Rae, now known as the "BFFs (Beautiful, Fierce Females)", faced Paige and Emma on the October 16 episode of NXT, where they emerged victorious when Rae pinned Paige.[25] On the November 13 episode of NXT, The BFFs defeated Bayley and Charlotte in a tag team match, when Charlotte attacked Bayley and aligned herself with Banks and Rae.[26] 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.[27][28][29] On April 6, Banks made an appearance at WrestleMania XXX as a part of Triple H's entrance for his match against Daniel Bryan.[30] 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.[31][32] On the July 3 episode of NXT, Banks and Charlotte 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.[33]

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.[34] At NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, Banks attacked Bayley after her title match with Charlotte, before Charlotte stopped her.[35] Becky Lynch turned on Bayley and aligned herself with Banks on the October 23 episode of NXT, after Banks defeated Bayley in a singles match.[36] Banks promptly began feuding with Charlotte, leading to a match between the two at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution for the NXT Women's Championship, which Banks lost.[37] She received a rematch on the December 25 episode of NXT, where she was once again unsuccessful.[38] Banks made her unannounced debut on the main roster on the December 30 episode of Main Event, where she lost to Charlotte in a non-title match.[39] On January 21, 2015, Banks received another title match against Charlotte, which she lost after Becky Lynch attacked Charlotte, causing a disqualification and that would lead to dissension between Banks and Lynch.[40] On February 11, at NXT TakeOver: Rival, Banks won the NXT Women's Championship by pinning Charlotte in a fatal four-way match that also involved Lynch and Bayley.[41] Banks successfully retained her championship against Charlotte in a rematch on the March 4 episode of NXT;[42] and against Alexa Bliss on March 25.[43] At NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable on May 20, Banks defended and retained the title against Becky Lynch in a highly acclaimed match.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Kaestner-Varnado is a cousin of Snoop Dogg. She is a fan of K-pop music and the anime Sailor Moon.[45] In May 2015, it was reported that Kaestner-Varnado is engaged to fellow wrestler Sarath Ton, who is currently working for WWE as a seamster, however, the report has been neither been confirmed nor denied. [46]

In wrestling[edit]

Banks applying a submission hold on Paige.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Ring Wars Carolina
    • RWC No Limitz Championship (1 time)[1]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]