The pro wrestling world is buzzing over the Sasha Banks situation. “The Boss” went from being a loyal WWE Superstar to evidently being one very disgruntled employee. The change seemed to happen overnight, though there’s no way to truly know that. The fact is that this situation may have been unfolding for much longer than just a weekend.
Speculation online suggests that Sasha and Bayley were promised a match at WWE’s next big event in Saudi Arabia. The duo was to defend their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships against Natalya and Beth Phoenix in what would have been a very historic bout.
WWE has received its fair share of criticism over the past year for running events in Saudi Arabia, mostly because of the way that women are treated in that country. Fans made their voices heard while WWE kept insisting that it was all leading somewhere. Evidently that was true.
WWE is not confirming the story so as of now, it’s only a rumor. But it does bring up an interesting set of talking points that fans must consider. Perhaps Sasha Banks has every reason to be upset and maybe the fans should be upset for her. Maybe the world was too quick to rally against her after all.
Why did a great number of fans turn on her after she disappeared? Was it simply because she was not there to entertain them? Banks’ last WWE appearance was WrestleMania but for many, that’s plenty long enough.
Banks’ critics felt that she should have just taken the loss and gotten over it. After all, it’s just pro wrestling and at the end of the day, wins and losses don’t really matter. Right? But therein lays one of the problems with this story.
Fans can believe what they want about Sasha, or any other WWE Superstar. But each man and woman has his and her own unique perspective on the business. To assemble a room full of WWE Superstars is to assemble a room full of people that have their own personal motivations for doing what they do.
Some are inspired by their heroes that came before them. Others are inspired by the promise of greatness that only WWE can bring. But even more see the possibility of major success on an elite level and that is just too much to pass up. But most importantly, many of these men and women simply just want to wrestle.
So why would any WWE fan, or any pro wrestling fan for that matter, presume to know what’s in a talent’s mind and heart? Being famous and traveling the world is an added benefit of working for Vince McMahon but is that truly the endgame for the bulk of the roster? If it is, does that mean those men and women should be vilified for their desire to be celebrities in the business they love?
When fans look at Sasha Banks, what do they see? Do they see a hardworking WWE Superstar that’s living her dream? Or do they see a superficial talent that intends to use WWE as a springboard to her next show business career? Is either possibility right or wrong and if so, who is the ultimate judge of that?
But after nearly seven days of receiving criticism for walking away and supposedly threatening to quit WWE, everything is now changing for Sasha. That’s because of the Saudi Arabia story, which if it’s indeed true, puts a whole new spin on everything.
Why would WWE give Banks and Bayley its plan to book them at Saudi Arabia, only to change that booking later? This is not the typical last minute booking change at Monday Night Raw. Fans have come to expect that and at this point, the Superstars themselves must certainly expect that as well.
But if Sasha and Bayley were told that they were to be included in the first ever WWE women’s match in Saudi Arabia, then that’s exactly what should have happened. There should have been no changing of plans, no last minute storyline tweaking. The bout should have been booked and happen as advertised.
It’s one thing to make history in a WWE ring stateside and every woman in the company was surely happy to be part of that history. Of course Vince McMahon’s company could have pulled the trigger on booking women in top spots long before now. But at least WWE is on the right track. At least it’s actually happening.
But to take those history making moments to a country that has traditionally treated women as secondary citizens, is massive. There’s really no way to overstate the importance of such a moment. WWE must have known that this was a possibility from the moment the company first ran Saudi Arabia in 2018. Patience was the key and now it may pay off.
If anyone in WWE deserves to get that spot, it’s The Four Horsewomen. WWE constructed this modern women’s division around Sasha, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Without that nucleus of stars at the center of it all, the Women’s Evolution may never have gotten off the ground. Any fan that believes the quartet hasn’t earned the right to make history in Saudi Arabia is perhaps missing the big picture. The company has committed to them, just as they have committed to the company.
But if the Saudi Arabia story is true, then that dynamic is turning upside down. Yes, it’s WWE’s show and the company can book it however Vince McMahon wants. It’s his call and that’s likely not changing any time soon. But just as WWE can change course, so too can Sasha Banks. It’s impossible to know what will happen next. But with any luck, there will be a resolution to this situation sooner rather than later.