Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado is a 29-year-old wrestler from Fairfield, California. She wrestles for the WWE and performs on SmackDown under the ring name, Sasha Banks.
Kaestner-Varnado began training at Chaotic Wrestling in 2008 and made her in-ring debut for the promotion in 2010 under the ring name, Mercedes KV. On January 7, 2011, KV earned her first victory when she and Roxx defeated Alexxis and Mistress Belmont in a tag team match. On December 2, she defeated Alexxis in a “I Quit” match to win the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship for the first time. She successfully defended the title in numerous matches and became the longest reigning Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Champion in history with her reign lasting 259 days.
Kaestner-Varnado’s WWE Tryout
In 2012, Kaestner-Varnado participated in a WWE tryout camp and on August 18, it was announced that she had signed a contract with the WWE. She was assigned to the WWE’s developmental territory, NXT, and made her televised debut with her new ring name, Sasha Banks, in December 2012 losing against Paige.
At NXT TakeOver: Rival, Banks defeated Charlotte Flair, Bayley and Becky Lynch to win the NXT Women’s Championship. She lost the title to Bayley, her friend and rival, at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn on August 22 2015.
Sasha Banks’ Main Roster Debut
In July 2015 alongside Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks made her main roster debut and aligned herself with Naomi and Tamina to create Team B.A.D. Sasha Banks was aligned with Team B.A.D. until January 2016 when she claimed to have moved on from Team B.A.D. This resulted in a tag team match with Banks teaming with Becky Lynch to take on Naomi and Tamina.
After being drafted to RAW in 2016, Sasha Banks began feuding with Charlotte and they had multiple title matches resulting in multiple title changes. Banks won the title three times in 2016 with all three reigns lasting under 30 days.
Sasha Banks & Bayely Become WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions
In 2017, Banks had another title reign after defeating Alexa Bliss. Then in 2019, Banks teamed with rival and friend Bayley and they competed at Elimination Chamber 2020 and became the first ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. After losing the titles, Banks vanished from television and came back later that year turning heel, and then aligned herself with Bayley.
In 2020, Sasha Banks and Bayley won their second Women’s Tag Titles after defeating Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on SmackDown. They lost the titles to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler at the pay-per-view event, PayBack, on August 30, 2020. Banks won the RAW Women’s Championship for a fifth time after defeating Asuka and lost it back to her a month later.
Sasha Banks Wins SmackDown Women’s Championship
At the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view event on October 25, 2020, Sasha Banks defeated Bayley and won the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
At WrestleMania 37, Sasha Banks lost the SmackDown Women’s Tag Team Championship to Bianca Belair. Banks’ title reign lasted 167 days.
Following WrestleMania 37, Sasha Banks was noticeably absent from WWE TV. She returned on July 30th’s episode of SmackDown to help Bianca Belair fend off an attack by Carmela and Zelina Vega. She then turned on Belair to stake her claim to her former title.
Career Championships and Accomplishments
- Chaotic Wrestling
- Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship (1 time)
- Independent Wrestling Entertainment
- IWE Women’s Championship (1 time)
- Ring Wars Carolina
- RWC No Limitz Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- NXT Women’s Championship (1 time)
- WWE RAW Women’s Championship (5 times)
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship (2 times)
- NXT Year-End Award (1 time)
- WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship (1 time)