With the return to the opening graphic of Sasha Banks and Naomi, the return of both these wrestlers to WWE is closer than ever before. The return of Banks and Naomi is good news for fans of women’s wrestling in WWE and also for management in WWE, as with this they prevented someone as big as Sasha Banks making the jump to a rival promotion.
The future of Banks and Naomi has been a topic discussed for a long time and with several possibilities for both wrestlers, but at the end of the day, WWE was always the favorite option for Banks and Naomi to return. AEW was considered a popular choice by some but not being able to offer as much money as WWE was always going to be a factor, as well as what plans AEW had for them and the entire women’s division.
The appointment of Paul Levesque as booker of WWE’s main roster was one of te first signs that Naomi and Banks would eventually return to WWE. Banks knows what it feels like to work with Paul Levesque and his thought process when working women’s programs. The appointment of Levesque and money are factors that can’t be ignored.
The problem for an eventual departure of WWE was the fact of the limited options of where they could go; AEW and IMPACT are the more obvious options but both could never match WWE in terms of money and platform for Banks, and the latter is important for Banks as she is looking to one day transition to Hollywood. Doing indies could’ve been an option too, especially for Naomi but both are a package deal.
It’s no secret that Banks has always desired to work in Japan, but the limitations of WWE contracts on appearances outside of a WWE ring have stopped any chance of Banks wrestling in Japan. Things are different now since it seems like WWE is opened to working with other promotions, and this could be something Banks can take advantage and wrestle for STARDOM.
The most likely scenario it would be for both to return to SmackDown, where Banks and Naomi are really needed, especially because of how short the women’s roster feels like in SmackDown. They could also be a great program for Damage Control for the WWE women’s tag team championships. For Banks in concrete, she could be booked immediately in a program for the SmackDown women’s championship and carry the division all the way to the road to WrestleMania and WrestleMania itself as champion.
WWE could also take the route of maximizing the return of Naomi and Banks and have it take place at the Royal Rumble in January of 2023. Waiting two more months wouldn’t be a bad idea and gives Naomi and Banks even more time to rest ahead of 2023. This would also give aul Levesque time to set up all the pieces he needs for the programs he has in mind for both Banks in Naomi for WrestleMania season.
The return of Banks and Naomi to the opening graphic closes any possibility, at least for now, of both wrestlers leaving WWE. Only time will tell if this was the right call for both wrestlers and their futures in 2023 and beyond.