Mercedes Kaestner-VarnadoD.O.B: 26 January, 1992
Birthplace: Fairfield, California
Trained By: Brian Fury, Brian Milonas, Todd Smith, Sara Del Rey
Family Ties: Snoop Dogg (Cousin)
Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado is a professional wrestler, currently working for WWE under the ring name Sasha Banks.
Before her WWE main roster debut, Banks worked for WWE developmental territory, NXT, where she won the NXT Women’s Championship.
Prior to arriving at WWE, she worked on the independent scene, using the name Mercedes KV, and made her name wrestling for Chaotic Wrestling, where she held the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship on one occasion.
Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado was born on January 26, 1992, in Fairfield, California. She re-located several times in order for her family to find schools and hospitals for her brother. She eventually ended up in Boston, Massachusetts, where she began her wrestling career. She is of part German descent.
Kaestner-Varnado is a first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg, who aided her in the development of her in-ring character. She is a fan of Sailor Moon and K-Pop. She cited Eddie Guerrero, as her favorite wrestler, and attended his memorial show, although she was unaware of his death until she arrived at the arena
Professional Wrestling Career
Chaotic Wrestling (2010-2012)
Kaestner-Varnado began her training with Chaotic Wrestling in 2008. She made her debut on October 1st 2010, in an inter-gender tag team match, where she used the name Mercedes KV and teamed with Nikki Roxx in a defeat to Alexxis and Danny E. Mercedes and Roxx formed an alliance and began teaming together ans accompanying each other to the ring during their matches. Mercedes lost her debut singles match on the 22nd October against Danny E, she also lost to him on November 13th.
On January 7th, 2011, Mercedes picked up her first victory, when she and Roxx defeated Alexxis and Mistress Belmont in a tag team match. On February 11th, Mercedes was unsuccessful in her attempt to become the inaugural Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Champion, when she lost a five-woman gauntlet match. She spent the remainder of the year competing in singles matches.
On December 2nd, she finally became the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Champion, when she defeated Alexxis in an ‘I Quit Match’.
Her first title defense came against Barbie, on Jaunary 6th, 2012, which she won. She then retained the championship against Luscious Latasha, on January 27th. This was followed by more successful title defenses against Alexxis, and twice against Nikki Roxx. On June 1st, Mercedes retained the championship in a fatal-4-way match against Alexxis, Barbie and Mistress Belmont. This made her the longest reigning Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Champion in history, surpassing Alexxis’ previous record of 182 days. Mercedes continued her line of successful defenses by defeating Barbie on June 24th, Aida Marie on July 20th and Kasey Rae on August 17th.
Mercedes made her final appearance for Chaotic Wrestling on August 18th, when she was defeated by Ivy Fit in a non-title match. The championship was then declared as vacant, ending Mercedes’ run at 260 days.
Other Promotions (2010-2012)
On August 8th 2010, KV made her debut for New England Championship Wrestling, where she teamed with Ivy to defeat Ariel and Sammi Lane. She made her return to the promotion on September 4, 2011, once again teaming with Ivy, this time to defeat Mistress Belmont and Veda Scott. On September 23rd, KV defeated Belmont in a singles match. She returned to the company again on the July 14th, 2012 event, Red White and Bruised, where she lost to Adrianna, by count-out.
On November 19th, 2010, KV began working for the National Wrestling Alliance, under the ring name Miss Mercedes. She lost her debut match to Julian Starr. The following nights, she defeated Sheik Ali and Nick Fahrenheit in singles matches. She then began a feud with The Great Cheyenne, whom she lost to on several occasions.
On August 9th, Miss Mercedes defeated Arlene.
In June 2012, Kaestner-Varnado attended a WWE try-out, and on August 18th, she was signed to WWE and assigned to their developmental territory, NXT, where she became known as Sasha Banks.
Sasha Banks made her televised debut on December 12th 2012, in a defeat to Paige. She picked up her first victory on the January 23rd, 2013, episode of NXT, when she defeated Alicia Fox. Sasha Banks then entered into a storyline which saw her receive letters from an apparent secret admirer. The admirer was eventually revealed to be Audrey Marie, who was jealous of Banks and attacked her on the February 20th episode of NXT.
Sasha Banks and Audrey Marie began a brief feud, which came to a head on the April 3rd episode on NXT, when Banks teamed up with Paige to defeat Marie and Summer Rae.
On June 19th, Sasha Banks participated in a tournament to crown the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion, but she was defeated by Summer Rae in the first round. Summer Rae then began trying to convince Banks to make herself more relevant, and after Banks lost to Paige for the NXT Women’s Championship, Banks took Summer’s advice and attacked Paige.
Sasha Banks and Summer Rae then formed an alliance, calling themselves The BFF’s. Around this time, Sasha Banks began using ‘The Boss’ as her new gimmick.
In mid-January 2014, Summer Rae was called up to the WWE main roster. Charlotte and Sasha Banks then began a feud with Bayley and Natalya.
In May, Sasha Banks entered the tournament to crown the new NXT Women’s Champion. She defeated Bayley in the first round before losing to Natalya in the semi-finals.
On July 3rd, Banks and Charlotte defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch. After the match Bayley attacked Banks, while Charlotte did nothing to help her partner. This led to the break-up of The BFF’s.
On the August 14th episode of NXT, Sasha Banks was defeated by Bayley in a match to determine the new number one contender for the championship. At NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, Banks attacked Bayley after her match with Charlotte, Charlotte then stopped Banks. On the October 23rd episode of NXT, Banks defeated Bayley in a singles match, after the match, Becky Lynch turned on Bayley and aligned herself with Sasha Banks.
Banks then began a feud with NXT Women’s champion Charlotte, which led to a title match between the two at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution, which was won by Charlotte. She received a rematch on the December 25th episode of NXT, when once again she came up short. On the January 21st 2015, episode of NXT, Banks once again lost to Charlotte with the title on the line, this time via disqualification after Becky Lynch attacked Charlotte. This led to dissension between Lynch and Banks.
At NXT TakeOver: Rival, Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte, Lynch and Bayley, to become the NXT Women’s Champion. She then retained the championship against Charlotte in the rematch on March 4th. Her next defense came against Alexa Bliss on March 25th. At NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch to retain the championship. On July 8th, Banks and Charlotte teamed up to defeat Emma and Dana Brooke. After the match, Charlotte challenged Banks to a match for the NXT Women’s Championship. Banks won the match on the July 15th episode of NXT, when Banks defeated Charlotte. After the match, Charlotte and Banks hugged in the ring.
At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, Sasha Banks lost the NXT Women’s Championship to Bayley, in what many consider to be one of the best women’s matches in history. In losing the championship, Sasha Bank’s reign was ended at 192 days. After the match, Banks and Bayley celebrated together with Becky Lynch and Charlotte. The match would go on to win the ‘Match of the Year Award’ at the NXT year-end awards.
On the September 16th episode of NXT, William Regal, announced that Bayley and Sasha Banks would face-off at NXT TakeOver: Respect in the first ever women’s 30-minute Iron Man Match in WWE history. Bayley defeated Banks by 3 falls to 2 to retain the championship. This was Sasha Banks’ last match in NXT.
WWE Main Roster (2015-Present)
On the July 13th 2015, episode of RAW, Sasha Banks made her debut on the WWE Main roster as a part of the Divas Revolution. Stephanie McMahon called for a revolution in the Divas division, as a part of that, McMahon called up Charlotte and Becky Lynch to join forces with Paige in a group known as Team PCB, whilst Sasha Banks joined forces with Tamina and Naomi to form Team B.A.D.
Banks then began a rivalry with Paige before losing in a fatal 4-way match to become the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship.
Banks was then away from television for a month, until her return at the Royal Rumble, where she attacked Charlotte and Becky Lynch after their title match. On the February 1st 2016, episode of RAW, Banks said that she was ‘On her own’, which signaled the end of her association with Team B.A.D. Later, in her match with Becky Lynch, Banks was attacked by Team B.A.D.
The following week on RAW, Sasha Banks was on commentary for Becky Lynch’s match against Tamina. Tamina provoked Bank’s to get involved, Naomi then attacked Banks, setting up a tag team match at Fastlane, that will see Naomi and Tamina take on Sasha and Becky.
At Fastlane, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks defeated Team B.A.D. via submission after Tamina tapped-out to Sasha Banks’ Bank Statement.
Following Fastlane, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch faced-off to determine the number one contender for Charlotte’s championship. The first match ended in a double pinfall, setting up a rematch, which ended when Charlotte interfered. Seeing as no winner could be determined, it was announced that all three women would take part in a triple-threat match for the title at Wrestlemania 32.
At Wrestlemania 32, Charlotte defended her championship after Becky tapped-out to the Figure-Eight, whilst Ric Flair prevented Sasha from breaking the hold.
After a brief hiatus from television, Banks returned in early June, defeating Summer Rae om Main Event. She then re-ignited her feud with Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Championship by helping Paige and attacking Charlotte and Dana Brooke on the June 20 episode of RAW.
The following week, Banks teamed with Paige to defeat Charlotte and Dana Brooke in a tag team match.