With all the craziness surrounding Sasha Banks since WrestleMania, Rob checks in with his perspective on the situation.
The Thursday and Friday after WrestleMania 35 may well become known as Sasha Banks NEWZZZZ Days just from all the rumors that came to light. Now to be fair we have no idea if any of this stuff is true but that hasn’t stopped us from getting these takes off on Twitter about it all. Supposedly Sasha got super pissed about losing the Women’s Tag Team Titles to the Iconics at Mania, and talked about quitting because she felt the rug was pulled out from under she and Bayley’s run with the titles before it got going good. Now again this is all allegedly, and even though the more reputable guys out there are saying that they’ve corroborated it it’s very possible as with all of these things that their sources might be full of crap and have an agenda.
And we’re running with all of this largely because of confirmation bias; this sure seems like something she would do so there’s probably some truth to it. Which in the grand scheme of things means maybe you don’t dismiss it outright but we probably shouldn’t be out here treating it as if it’s on tape, either. One thing I think is pretty safe to assume is that even if she wanted out, she wouldn’t get her wish. She just re-signed last year and I doubt they just let her out of that because she’s mad about losing a match. Now based on how absurd the whole thing has gotten, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 90 percent of what we’re getting here is probably false or exaggerated. Upset about losing? Sure. The rest of it I think you can charge to the clickbait wrestling media unless she actually does leave and turn up somewhere else.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot t-shirts.
You can too!
Banks is one of the more polarizing names on wrestling Twitter; there are people who genuinely dislike her because of all the ‘reports’ about her attitude, some of whom take that and project it onto criticisms of her ring work and she has some really rabid fans out there who defend her against all negative comments and go to the mat daily over how she’s been booked. So as you can guess these reports, rumors, whatever you want to call them have been fanning the flames on both sides. People who already didn’t like her are using these reports as evidence of what they’ve been saying all along, that she’s a petulant brat with a bad attitude who pouts and cries wen she can’t get her way and is flat out unprofessional.
She should be happy she’s gotten what she’s gotten and shut up already, or go on and get the hell out. And if Bayley feels the same way she can go, too. Meanwhile people at the opposite end of the spectrum have been using the same reports, particularly the insinuation that the were told the day of the show that they were losing, as another piece of evidence in the case that Sasha has been royally screwed and mistreated since she got called up from NXT, and that she has every right to pack up and leave and go somewhere that she is appreciated. Uhh……yeah, I don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot of movement in either of those camps.
Is there a legit beef about her booking? Let’s take wins and losses seriously for a bit. Here’s her won loss record since joining WWE; as you can see she’s won over half of her matches (53.70%). That’s a little behind Charlotte (57.27%) and Becky Lynch (58.8%), is way ahead of Alexa Bliss (34.57%) and Nia Jax (34.97%), and way behind Bayley (74%) and Asuka (91.1%). So she’s fifth out of the seven women who have been most consistently featured since 2015. But maybe it’s not the numbers but the timing. Her penchant for being booked to lose titles very quickly after she’s won them has been a thorn in the side of her biggest fans, and for good reason. She hasn’t hit even 30 days in any of her 4 RAW Women’s Title reigns which totaled 82 days while Alexa has a 223 and a 112 day reign in the books, and Charlotte has a 113 day reign on record.
Chris Platt and Andrew Balaz go to war…
on POD is WAR!
And while you can make some sense of her first three reigns being short since she and Charlotte were trading the belt month to month then, 8 days between beating Alexa and losing it back to her is just dumb and doesn’t even make sense when you look at how things were booked with the title the rest of the year. I will co sign any and all grievances with that because it was just a dumb idea that didn’t really add anything to the bigger picture.
But what else? Does the rest of the picture suggest she’s been booked at a lower level than she should be? Yes and no. She’s been in a lot of the ‘First Ever’ women’s division stuff – NXT Takeover Main Event, main roster PPV main event, Hell in a Cell match, Royal Rumble, Iron Woman matches in both NXT and the main roster, singles Elimination Chamber match, and tag team Elimination Chamber match. She was the anchor in the first Women’s Royal Rumble.
But she only won one of those matches, the tag team Chamber match, making her a whopping 1-5 there. Someone with her popularity and talent should fare better than that, right? Bayley is 2-2 in her milestone matches, Charlotte and Becky are 2-4, Alexa is 1-0, Nia is 0-2, and Asuka is 2-0. Again, a mixed bag that doesn’t really give a definitive answer either way other than that she’s been in a lot of those matches. Which makes it hard to feel really bad for her on that front given that the three women she is most compared to aren’t running away with a lot of wins in those matches either. There are a lot of women on the roster that would love to be in enough First Ever matches to have a 1-5 record. But is there anything else? Let’s see….
The RAW women’s division in particular has been pretty top heavy since WrestleMania 34 in that the Ronda Rousey-centered title picture has been treated with the most importance and the rest of the division has been left to basically fight each other. Now were there stretches where that made sense? Sure. But I’m guessing that wasn’t a joy to any of the ladies who had to deal with it, let alone one who was now getting relegated to the pack after being one of the featured top players for a couple of years.
Then there was what looked was going to be a feud with Bayley that got shelved inexplicably, followed by missing some time with post concussion syndrome and what was reported as a back injury. Then she had a shoulder injury shortly before the chamber match in February. She and Bayley won that, and we’re to believe that they thought they were promised a longer run with the titles but were told at the last minute they were losing them at WrestleMania. So there’s a good chance that she wasn’t exactly in the best place altogether to start with between the injuries and the previous years’ booking. Who knows? There’s a lot there, but we’re being led to believe that being told she was going to lose one match at the last minute was enough to set her off. I don’t know, man. The amount of stuff that we have to trust the previously untrustworthy on is way too much to be off running with any particular take from where I’m sitting.
I do know that there is a larger issue with which women get promoted as the faces of the women’s division and which ones don’t. The ‘Vince loves the Blondes’ rap has gotten some validation lately when you look at who’s been getting pushed to the front – Charlotte and Alexa are always there but over the past few months Mandy Rose got a quick push to a title program that flopped pretty hard and now Lacey Evans gets put right into a program with Becky. Meanwhile a lot of the other women literally have gotten shoved aside at the drop of a hat. Sasha definitely has the in ring talent and popularity to never be out of the title picture (she did get a shot at Rousey at the Rumble of course, but that was a foregone conclusion going in) but what appears to be an invisible hard cap on which tier she gets to be on is pretty symbolic for how a lot of people perceive the booking there.
And that she’s been crapped on so hard for complaining by the same people who applauded the Revival for doing the same kind of thing is pretty symbolic of how some parts of the fanbase see a woman there who don’t fit a certain mold either (just take a look and see who gets the nastiest comments on social media). After all let’s not believe that a preference for certain kinds of women is just a Vince McMahon thing, ok?
Wrapping things up looks like the best conclusion is…….beats the hell outta me. There’s stuff you can point to and say ‘yeah they should have booked that differently’ and there’s stuff you can look at and say ‘she’s got it really good there’. As far as all the stories and reports about her attitude, I’m leaving them alone. It’s gotten to the point where people who already don’t like her are willing to believe and run with whatever the worst possible version of events are rumored and even if that version is true you still gotta question the motives behind whoever leaked it to the reporters. I don’t think she’s totally without blame, though. She’s notorious for pretty much giving away if she’s winning or losing that night by the look on her face when she walks out to the ring so no I’m not totally dismissive of stories that she takes losing a match too hard.
And her kinda passive aggressive shots at what she considers inadequate forms of women’s wresting and it’s practitioners aren’t a good look, either (nor are when the known target of some of those shots, Alexa Bliss, gets just as petty and passive aggressive in return). From where I’m siting she’s not totally wrong but she isn’t totally right either. We can walk and chew gum at the same time here, people. You can acknowledge when she has a point AND when she needs to get over it. We can do both, everyone!! As far as what we should think about that how she allegedly takes losing, well…….don’t give her any more grief than you do any of your favorites who did the same kind of thing be it Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, CM Punk, The Road Warriors, etc. Being a little too upset about losing but going out there and doing the job as expected isn’t quite the same as say….stepping in the ring with an opponent and saying she’s not doing the finish tonight or walking out to find her smile rather than do a job. A little nuance people, ok?