Sasha Banks Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado (born January 26, 1992 is an American professional wrestler who currently competes for WWE as Sasha Banks on the SmackDown brand.
Banks previously wrestled for Chaotic Wrestling, where she won the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship. In 2012, she signed with WWE and was assigned to the NXT brand. In 2015, she was promoted to WWE’s main roster. Her 30-minute match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect in October 2015 was the first women’s match to headline an NXT TakeOver, the first iron woman match in WWE history, and the longest women’s match in WWE history at the time.  Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) named their match Match of the Year, and Banks was named Woman of the Year.
Banks previously wrestled for Chaotic Wrestling, where she won the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship. In 2012, she signed with WWE and was assigned to the NXT brand. In 2015, she was promoted to WWE’s main roster. Her 30-minute match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect in October 2015 was the first women’s match to headline an NXT TakeOver, the first iron woman match in WWE history, and the longest women’s match in WWE history at the time. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) named their match Match of the Year, and Banks was named Woman of the Year.
Sasha Banks Early life
Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado was born in Fairfield, California on January 26, 1992, to Reo and Judith Varnado. Her father is African-American, and her mother is German. Her family relocated to different states, including Minnesota, in search of schools and hospitals for her autistic brother, Joshua. They eventually settled in Boston, where she began her professional wrestling career. She attended online school and grew up watching All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW).
Professional wrestling career
Chaotic Wrestling (2010–2012)
In 2008, Kaestner-Varnado began training at Chaotic Wrestling (CW) in Woburn, Massachusetts. She made her ring debut on October 1, 2010, under the ring name Mercedes KV, in an intergender tag team match with Nikki Roxx, losing to Alexxis and Danny E. KV and Roxx quickly formed an alliance, regularly teaming up and accompanying each other to ringside. KV lost her debut singles match to Danny E on October 22, and then again on November 13.
On January 7, 2011, KV and Roxx won their first match, defeating Alexxis and Mistress Belmont in a tag team match. KV competed in a five-woman gauntlet match to determine the inaugural Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Champion on February 11, but was unsuccessful. KV continued to compete in singles matches throughout the rest of 2011, eventually defeating Alexxis in a “I Quit” match on December 2 to win the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship for the first time.
On January 6, 2012, KV successfully defended her title against Barbie. On January 27, KV faced off against Luscious Latasha for the championship, which she won. In a rematch, KV successfully defended his championship against Alexxis. She then successfully defended her title against Nikki Roxx twice. KV retained the Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship on June 1 by defeating Alexxis, Barbie, and Mistress Belmont in a fatal four-way match, breaking Alexxis’ previous record of 182 days. KV went on to defend and successfully retain the championship against Barbie on June 24, Aida Marie on July 20, and Kasey Ray on August 17. On August 18, KV made her final appearance for Chaotic Wrestling, losing to Ivy Fit in a non-title match. The Chaotic Wrestling Women’s Championship was declared vacant on August 17, after Kaestner-Varnado signed a contract with WWE, ending her reign at 259 days.
Sasha Banks Personal life
Kaestner-Varnado is a first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg, who helped shape her in-ring persona through her father. She is also the first cousin of singers Brandy Norwood and Ray J, as well as music producer Daz Dillinger. She enjoys K-pop music as well as the Japanese anime Sailor Moon.
Eddie Guerrero is Kaestner-favorite Varnado’s wrestler and inspiration. She was in Minneapolis on November 14, 2005, for Guerrero’s memorial episode of Raw, and she revealed that she had no idea Guerrero had died before arriving at the arena.
Kaestner-Varnado married Cambodian-American retired professional wrestler Sarath Ton on August 4, 2016. They met while both competing on the independent wrestling circuit. Ton, better known by his ring name Mikaze, now works for WWE as a costume designer.
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