Sasha Banks has opened up about her mindset following WrestleMania 35 and why she’s thankful Vince McMahon rejected her request for her WWE release.
Heading into WrestleMania 35 Sasha Banks held one half of the Women’s Tag Team Championships with Bayley, known as “The Boss n’ Hug Connection.” The pair had become the inaugural champions at Elimination Chamber that February, but all was not well with Banks.
On the ‘Grandest stage of them all’ Banks and Bayley lost their titles to The IIconics and in the days that followed it was reported that The Boss was far from happy with how things were going. Banks later confirmed that she asked for her release from the company, but her request was denied. Instead she took a hiatus from WWE, not returning to television for four months.
Speaking in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Sasha Banks opened up about her feelings of disillusionment at the time, revealing that she knew things needed to change when she couldn’t get excited for WrestleMania.
“It was at that WrestleMania when I was just like, ‘Woah, I’m not nervous. I don’t feel anything and this is Wrestle – freaking – Mania. I couldn’t believe it! The biggest fangirl that wanted this her entire life didn’t feel anything at the biggest show ever? I mean, this is every wrestler’s dream to be here, and at the very moment, I knew that I needed to take a break. And I was like, alright, I’ve got to go find myself and I did, and it’s the best decision I ever made and I’m so thankful that I did.”
Continuing on, Banks admitted that she was “scared” when she realised that wrestling was all she knew, which further prompted her to want a break from the squared circle.
“Wrestling has been the only thing I have ever known; I never had a plan B, C, or D, it’s just always been wrestling, wrestling, wrestling. So when I realized I didn’t know anything else but it, it kind of scared me for a second. And I just had to kind of figure out deep within, like, what do you like on a Sunday if you didn’t have wrestling? What if you didn’t have TV? What if there’s no cable? Just, what if? Can’t you just figure it out one time, for one day?
“And I’m like, ‘Woah, okay, actually I can because I can take a break to figure out who I am.’”
The Boss explained that she was grateful that Vince McMahon denied her request for her release, as realistically she just needed a break.
“I felt like I wasn’t giving my highest good. So if I’m not giving my highest good, if I’m not being the best, if I’m not being used as the best, then I’ve got to go find that. I’m always that performer wanting to be #1 and I felt in my heart that I just wasn’t feeling good. I wasn’t feeling good, so I felt like I did all that I could and I needed that break, I needed that release. And then Vince told me no and that was a great decision on both ends because he knew what he saw.
He’s so smart, he’s so kind, he’s so gentle. He actually knew what I needed which was time. At the end of the point, all of use just need a little bit of time.”
Sasha Banks eventually returned to WWE in August 2019, reuniting with Bayley and beginning a feud with Becky Lynch. The Boss remained a loyal partner to Bayley all the way until September 2020, when Bayley turned on her friend.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.