Out of the Four Horsewomen of WWE, Sasha Banks is probably ranked third in my opinion, behind Bayley and Becky Lynch. She’s been a bit of a problem child for WWE, walking out on a couple of occasions and just generally being a bit of a headache to work with, reportedly. I will say that she has the talent to be great, she just needs to cool it on the attitude because she is not as good as she thinks she is. She thinks she’s a GOAT, but she’s not fit to touch Mayu Iwatani’s boots or chew the same brand of gum as Aja Kong.
Sasha Banks, now known as Mercedes Mone, is in Japan right now to work a few dates for Bushiroad, primarily Stardom and New Japan Pro Wrestling. As of writing she has debuted at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom and has made it clear she is there to have a program with current IWGP Women’s Champion KAIRI, but why should Mercedes limit herself to just facing off against KAIRI?
There is a myriad of women in Japan who have the talent and skill to hang with The Boss and I think today we should take a look at some of them. I’m gonna do something special today for this one and I am gonna pick one woman from each Joshi promotion in Japan that Sasha Banks should face off against while she is in Japan. Saddle up folks because this is gonna be one heck of a list today.
Ram Kaicho | 666 | Ice Ribbon
Ram has slowly gotten better in the ring since she began working regularly alongside other women in Ice Ribbon. Her in-ring work still has a ways to go, and her gimmick needs fleshing out beyond her usual schtick, but her look and gimmick are unique within the company. I can’t really rate her on her work as a child, but as an adult Ram has a much higher ceiling working in Ice Ribbon than she ever did being a niche within the niche that is 666. Ram Kaicho reminds me of Alexa Bliss in a way and I would love to see this woman go up against someone like Sasha Banks.
Natsumi Sumikawa | Actwres girl’Z
Formerly known as Natsumi Showzuki while she wrestled for Stardom, Natsumi is a pretty underrated talent. Natsumi took an extended hiatus away from wrestling, from 2013 to 2021, but since her return to the ring, she’s really been one of the new AWG’s bright spots. Crazy that after so many years away, she was able to come back better than ever. Her matches with Wild Bunny (Act Yasukawa) are a lot of fun, and she had a fantastic match with Mari in Osaka. She’s a big building block for the new AWG, and we’re lucky she’s back. A match with Sasha Banks would be a lot of fun for the 33-year-old.
Haruka Umesaki | Diana World Woman Pro-Wrestling
One of the top prospects in the Joshi scene. A girl with great potential with some star presence & already very good in-ring abilities. Haruka Umesaki is someone to look after in the years to come as she’s starting to get some name reputation, with appearances in STARDOM, Wave, DIANA & Sendai Girls among others, this year only. She’s only 21 years old, a 3-year veteran, and she is already putting on phenomenal matches with nearly everyone she is in the ring with. This is a young woman that Sasha Banks would be lucky to get to face off against and that is a fact.
Maki Itoh | Freelancer
Maki Itoh does make our list but not for any promotion, she is a freelancer. Maki Itoh has been making a name for herself in TJPW as well as doing freelance work in the US, gaining a massive following for herself. She’s improved massively in the ring and she has a unique style for a Joshi. I’d love to see Sasha try to take one of those headbutts and stay standing.. I digress. Maki Itoh is one of the most popular Joshi in the world and that alone makes her someone that Sasha Banks needs to face off against.
Tsukasa Fujimoto | Ice Ribbon
Up next we have one of the GOAT’s in Japan, the 39-year-old meistro Tsukasa Fujimoto. Tsukasa to me is the greatest joshi in-ring performer ever, her offence is a thing of beauty that she can come out of the lowest quality wrestler at least a good match. I have never seen a bad match for her in my life. She does not miss anything to be a legend but an all-time wrestler even. She is a great single and tag team wrestler, a great booker, a great trainer, and a true GOAT. Sasha Banks should be lucky to wrestle someone as talented and great as Fujimoto.
Mei Suruga | Gatoh Move Pro Wrestling
The Apple Girl of Gatoh Move is up next! Mei Suruga is one of the most infectiously cheery women in the land of Joshi and frankly, she is one of the best younger talents in Japan right now. I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Mei perform live at a Deadlock Pro Wrestling show and let me just say that the hype around her is for real. She can move, she can fly and she is at her best when she can play up the crowd and be a total goofball. I love Mei Suruga, she is seriously fun to watch and I think a match against Sasha Banks would be freaking incredible.
Tomoka Inaba | Just Tap Out
Tomoka Inaba is a student of Taka Michinoku and the influence is very clear in her speed and submission precision. Inaba relies mostly on her strikes and specifically her kicks which are some of the best I’ve seen from any wrestler in a while. Tomoka has had a multitude of great matches that highlight her striking and selling abilities against the likes of Maika, Taka Michinoku, Miyako Matsumoto, Saori Anou and Hiroyo Matsumoto. Let me remind you that she’s only 3 years into her career and the amount of talent and ring generalship she has is something of a 5-year vet. She’s somebody you want to keep your eyes on because her star is on the rise and I have no doubt she’s gonna take over in the coming years. Sasha Banks would have a lot of trouble with this young lady, and I would love to see it.
Shinobu Kandori | Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling-X
We’ve got our first legend on the list, the 36-year veteran Shinobu Kandori. Sure, she’s nowhere near as active as she used to be, but the 58-year-old Kandori can still go in the ring. Shinobu aged like fine wine in the world of wrestling and she has earned her place among the greats of the Joshi world. With matches against other legends like Aja Kong and Bull Nakano, Shinobu has faced the who’s who of the Joshi Queendom. If Sasha Banks had the chance to step into the ring with a legend like Kandori, she should drop everything and do just that. Win or lose it would do wonders for her career.
Aja Kong | OZ Academy
Our second legend on today’s list is the one and only Aja Kong. Easily one of the greatest monsters in wrestling, regardless of gender. In the world of 90’s AJW, where work rate and fast-paced bouts were the accepted norm, Kong was the critical outlier in that lot: a bullish, aggressive brawler that brought the old chaotic style of the days of Crush Gals and modernized it into a more ruthless standard. I don’t think we’ve seen a wrestler look so legitimate in beating the snot out of her opponents, just brutalizing them with stiff strikes and the BEST backhand in wrestling history.
I could go into her many bloody feuds with babyfaces not only in the 90s but all the way up to even 2020 today but there would legitimately be too much to cover. Either in tags or in singles, heels or faces, straight wrestling or hardcore, Kong brought the standard of these matches above and beyond with her antics, squeezing every last bit of intensity out of her opponents while knowing exactly when to sell and be the one dominated in turn. One of the best in the world in her prime and is still a force today regardless of age. Sasha Banks needs to face off against Aja someday before Kong retires for good.
Takumi Iroha | Marvelous
The representative for Marvelous: That’s Women Pro Wrestling was a bit of a toss-up between Takumi Iroha and Mio Momono but today I chose to pick Takumi Iroha as I feel she would be the stiffer test for Sasha Banks. All Red Everything, Takumi Iroha is only a 9-year veteran in the Joshi World but she is one of the very best in Japan right now. She is easily in the top 10 currently and she has the ability to make anyone look like a 20+ year veteran. She is someone that would take Sasha Banks and make her look better than she is, not to mention she would humble that woman in the process. It would be a good thing for Banks.
Nagisa Nozaki | Pro Wrestling WAVE
Nagisa Nozaki is one of the most underrated talents in the world today. Due to her wrestling within a small promotion like Pro Wrestling Wave, and due to Wave being not as easily accessible, not many are able to see just how incredibly talented she is. Nagisa Nozaki is the total package when it comes to a Joshi wrestler. Her size, strength, physique, execution, presence and confidence are all at the elite level, in my opinion. She’s getting better and better with each passing day and I want to see her face off against someone like Sasha Banks.
Suzu Suzuki | Prominence
Suzu Suzuki is already working at the top of the world in terms of quality at the age of 20, and the only thing standing in the way of being booked as such by major companies is her strong commitment to her company’s Prominence and to freelance shows in general – which is no flaw. She has the ability, the natural charisma and the personality to rule the industry in the years to come. She’s hitting the main events of Korakuens now, wait til she hits the main event of even bigger shows. This 20-year-old is a true prodigy in Pro Wrestling and would wrestle circles around Sasha Banks. I want to see that.
Leon | PURE-J
Leon has worked in Mexico and Japan blending both styles perfectly. She’s incredibly agile as well as technically gifted. She certainly does not get enough recognition. Her frog splash, springboard, and kicks are things of beauty and she is a 22-year veteran. Leon is another legend that is still active in Japan and someone with that Sasha Banks should be striving to be in the ring with. If not to have that name added to her career but to have the chance to learn under someone as great as Leon is.
Arisa Nakajima | SEAdLINNNG
Arisa Nakajima is a proficient user of Strong style with smart technique and vicious strikes. Many of her matches are really brutal and she has taken some serious beatings over the years for sure. That said, Nakajima is still one of the top talents in the Joshi world. She’s consistently giving her all no matter how brutal the match becomes and she is capable of bringing out the best, or worst if you will, in any opponent she faces. I think that Sasha Banks would be a great opponent for Nakajima, but I wanna see how far Arisa can push the former WWE Women’s Champion.
Chihiro Hashimoto | Sendai Girls’ Pro Wrestling
Our next pick represents Sendai Girls’ and was trained by Meiko Satomura, that woman is Chihiro Hashimoto. A 7-year veteran, she may not have as much experience as Sasha Banks does but she would be an excellent choice to represent Sendai Girls’ against The Boss. She has faced off against the likes of Aja Kong and Meiko Satomura and that’s despite her having a drug arrest a few years back. Chihiro may not have much exposure outside of Sendai Girls’ but she is someone that would benefit greatly from facing off against Sasha Banks.
That’s it for the independent and minor league promotions in Japan folks. While that is already an insane list of women that Sasha Banks should face off against, we have two promotions left to go and that’s the two biggest Women’s Wrestling Promotions in Japan, Tokyo Joshi Pro, and Stardom.
Sasha Banks Vs Starlight Kid in Stardom
There are so many great names in Stardom. Names like Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe, AZM, Hazuki, KAIRI, Tam Nakano, and Giulia, but there is one name that stands out to me as someone that I absolutely want to see Sasha Banks face off against and that is Starlight Kid.
SLK is one of the most exciting women on the Stardom roster right now with a style that would give Banks fits. Kid is one of the best High Flyers in the promotion and she can keep the match anywhere she wishes it to go. Sasha Banks would have one hell of a time trying to keep up with the former High-Speed Champion and frankly, I wanna see her try. Kid can wrestle circles around Banks, as can three-quarters of the Stardom roster, and she needs to be given the chance.
Sasha Banks Vs Miyu Yamashita in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling
Miyu Yamashita is just about everything you could want in an ace. Her sense of measure and pacing are unparalleled in the wrestling world. Everybody talks about the kicks and yes, of course, her kicks are perfect, but the truly great thing about Miyu Yamshita is her ability to tell a story with her body. The way she moves in the ring–especially against one of her juniors–tells you everything you need to know even if you don’t speak a lick of Japanese.
Yamashita is very smooth in the ring. I don’t mean this as a slight to either person, but watching her makes me think of a smoother Shinsuke Nakamura. Where Nakamura is incredibly jerky and violent, Miyu always looks very fluid and graceful moving around the ring while having her own great signature kicks. Miyu has nearly decapitated several women with her head kicks and frankly, I wanna see if Sasha Banks can survive one of them.