A new report has shed some light on why Sasha Banks was unable to appear at SummerSlam for her scheduled SmackDown Women’s Championship match with Bianca Belair.
Banks and Belair tore the house down in the Main Event of Night One of WrestleMania 37 earlier this year after the ‘EST’ of WWE secured her spot in the match by winning the Women’s Royal Rumble in January. On the ‘Grandest Stage of Them All’, Belair defeated the ‘Boss’ to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship, her first gold in the company.
Following WrestleMania, Banks took some time off from the company. The multi-time champion returned to WWE on the July 30th episode of SmackDown where she immediately set her sights on Belair. The two were set to have their rematch at SummerSlam on August 21st, but there was some doubt about the title defence going ahead when the two were missing from recent live events. However, it was later reported that both were cleared to compete “barring something unforeseen”.
At the ‘Biggest Party of the Summer’, it seemed like everything was going ahead as planned, but once Belair made her way to the ring, it was announced that Banks was unable to compete and would be replaced by Carmella. In fact, Carmella herself was also replaced when Becky Lynch made her long-awaited return to stake her claim on the title match.
While no answers were forthcoming at the time about why Banks was absent from the show, it has now been reported on Fightful Select that she still has not been cleared to return to action, but WWE is hopeful that she will be back soon.
“In asking WWE sources, Fightful was told that Sasha Banks wasn’t cleared to compete and the company hoped to have her back soon”
Belair’s title defence did not go well for the ‘EST’ as ‘The Man’ beat her in short order for the pinfall with a strike and a modified Rock Bottom, which Michael Cole labelled the Manhandle Slam, claiming her fourth SmackDown Women’s Championship in the process.
We will provide further updates on the return of Sasha Banks as we get them here at Inside The Ropes.