Sasha Banks took a considerable leave of absence from WWE following WrestleMania 35, a stint that even saw her ask for her release.
In 2019, Sasha Banks was one of the top female Superstars in WWE, becoming half of the inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions alongside Bayley as The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection were victorious in the first women’s tag team Elimination Chamber match that February. After they were dethroned by The IIconics at WrestleMania 35, however, ‘The Legit Boss’ took an extended absence from WWE programming.
Banks’ status with Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant was unknown, with many presuming she had either left the promotion, or was at the very least on her way out, particularly after she cancelled an appearance on the morning talk show Wendy the day following ‘Mania. She did ask for a release from her contract, but this was ultimately denied by Vince McMahon himself.
“I felt so sad every day and I didn’t know why. I had to take myself away from a situation and such a fast world where I had to stop and realize who Mercedes was and who Sasha Banks was. I had no time off. I never got to see myself, my family. I took that time to figure out what I loved besides wrestling.”
Sasha Banks would ultimately return to WWE programming on the Raw following SummerSlam 2019, assaulting Natalya, therefore turning heel and revealing her new blue hair. Reuniting with Bayley shortly thereafter, the pair would become two-time Women’s Tag Team Champions, while also being two of the more memorable acts throughout the eery pandemic era.
Outside of the ring, Sasha Banks notably starred in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, where she played Koska Reeves. The real-life Mercedes Varnado believes there is more to be done with regards to her acting career:
“I think I can in such a different way. I see The Rock as maybe the biggest global superstar, and John Cena is coming right behind him. It would be cool to see a woman step into that level. I think with Sasha Banks and Mercedes Varnado right there, I think the stars are aligned for me.”
Sasha Banks is currently due to team with Naomi at WrestleMania 38 as they challenge Carmella and Queen Zelina for the Women’s Tag Team Championships, a four-team match also involving Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan, and Shayna Baszler and Natalya. The match will air on WrestleMania Sunday.