To say being featured on Disney+'s flagship television series The Mandalorian for Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado might have improved her standing within WWE would be an understatement. In a conversation with The Wrap, WWE Chief Brand Officer and occasional personality Stephanie McMahon talked about how Varnado's appearance as Koska Reeves on the popular Star Wars series helped her inside the ring as Sasha Banks as the current SmackDown Women's Champion.
"Sasha's star only continues to rise," McMahon said. "I think that experience for her gave her a different set of confidence that maybe she didn't have before." It's probably more than a mere coincidence that "The Boss" won the title at the Hell in the Cell PPV from Bayley weeks before her November 13 debut on The Mandalorian. "Sasha is one of our biggest stars with some of the best charisma and potential," she continued. "And on top of her athleticism and her storytelling abilities, she just shines. When she walks out, you pay attention. I love her attitude and just everything about her. So I think Sasha is really just getting started."
Since making her WWE debut in 2012, Banks became the NXT Women's Champion, a five-time Raw Women's Champion, and co-holder of the Women's Tag Team Champion with Bayley earning a rare distinction of becoming a grand slam champion. On Varnado's couple appearances on The Mandalorian, Koska works with Bo-Katan Kryze, played by Katee Sackhoff helping and occasionally bumping heads with Mando/Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal). In her latter appearance on the season two finale, she helped Bo, Din, and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen) take over Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) light cruiser to rescue Grogu. To read more about what McMahon says about WWE's attempt to run WrestleMania at the same site of Super Bowl LV in Tampa, FL, you can check it out on the Wrap. The Mandalorian streams on Disney+. SmackDown airs Friday nights on FOX.