Sasha Banks was recently a guest on The Steve Austin Podcast show where she discussed various topics including her time on the independent scene and NXT, why she prefers being a heel and the current WWE Women’s division. Highlights of the interview below.
On her time on the independent scene as Mercedes KV: “I don’t even like thinking about it because I was a just a very happy little babyface. So full of joy, feeling like ‘Yeah, I made my dreams. Let’s go get it.’ My style was anything and everything. I wanted to jump off the top rope and do dives and take all these risks. I wouldn’t say I had one style, I was just this very bland babyface, doing all the moves I wanted to do. Not really understanding telling a story and that was the same person that came to FCW when she got signed. I was just happy to be there, doing my job, this and that until finally I was just like ‘I need more. I need a character.’ Because that’s what the fans connect to. Once they connect to that, then they’ll start appreciating your work.”
On feeling more comfortable as a heel: “I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately because I usually just say both because you’re supposed to give that bland answer but I do enjoy working heel. I feel more comfortable, I feel more free and I feel like I’m being more of myself because I can really be like ‘Yeah, I’m the sh*t.’ which I feel is hard to be as a babyface. In today’s day in age, I feel like all these babyfaces are really the heels and all these heels are really the babyfaces because that’s what the fans are cheering now. The fans are cheering just the heels and booing the babyfaces because they want to see people kick ass. They want to see them saying and doing stuff in a more of a gridding way than being like ‘Hey, I’m going to kick your butt cause I’m a good guy.’ I’m still learning to be a babyface everyday but the number one reason I love it is because the kids. I love seeing little kids dress up as you.”
On her NXT:TakeOver Brooklyn match against Bayley being a high moment in her career: “I do think that’s the highest moment because I just remember ‘Okay, I’m on the main roster now.’ NXT was my home, it’s really where I found myself and where people really began to want to see women work more. At the time, I knew that it was my last match and I wanted to go out with a bang. They were promoting it as me and Bayley as the second main event but I’m like ‘Hell no, I’m going to steal the show.’ Again, I don’t want to sound cocky but I knew that I was the best. Not just woman, I wanted to be the best overall. It’s crazy because with other TakeOver matches, you kind of have a week before to even think or talk about it but I was on the main roster. We didn’t see each other until that day, which I think made it even more special. We didn’t get to walk over anything or try anything. It was just so magical and I remember before I even went out, I started bawling crying like ‘Oh my god, this is the biggest arena that we’ve ever wrestled in front of at the time’. The moment I got out of that car, I never felt so relaxed in my whole wrestling career. The moment I stood out, I was just like ‘This feels so right.’ I got into that ring and I just heard those fans chanting ‘We want Sasha’ or ‘We want Bayley.’ Before we even locked-up, I knew it was going to be something special.”
When she first felt over with fans: “I had a match against Emma and they were chanting ‘ratchet’ and I thought it was ‘rat sh*t’. It’s really the first chant I ever got at NXT because I was really getting nothing. Then I came to the back and they’re like ‘They’re calling you ratchet and OBT’ which in Orlando is where the prostitutes stand in the corner. I was like, ‘Well at least they’re chanting’. Then the following month, they kept chanting and chanting and I’m like ‘Okay, well this is cool. This is wrestling.’ It wasn’t really until I was going into a story with Charlotte at NXT and we were getting back and forth chants and people were caring and after our match at NXT TakeOver, that’s when I feel people really got with my character and hating me. Then there were more chants, I saw more signs and I saw more people buy my shirts. We were getting more time at live events and it kind of just kind of went from there.”
On the pressure of keeping a spot in the Women’s Division: “It’s very hard. It was much harder when we were doing both Raw and SmackDown. I feel like with the brand split, you kind of know who has the spot right now and I recently learned you’re not always going to be number one and especially with the Women’s division. We’re so small, it’s going to cycle and you’re going to have the opportunity to be number one again and you’re going to go back down and it’s legit like a ferris wheel. It’s not even more of who is going to be number one, it’s just whoever is the champion right now. It’s Alexa Bliss, she’s going to be number one. Whoever she is in with the storyline with, that’s just what it is. They only really write for the championship match. Hopefully we get some Tag Team Women’s Championship coming up so we have more of a story but it’s good that having Paige and the two new girls. Finally, it’s something more, something different, it’s not about the championship. So, I’m very interested to see know where we’re going next. I have no idea and that’s kind of going in so blank of not knowing what you’re going to do next but it’s exciting to know that it’s in a different direction. Hopefully it’s leading to something bigger.”
On WWE’s Women Division making history: “It’s awesome being here in the WWE and in this Women’s division right now where these women are taking off. Being a part of history is so cool and thinking of all the stuff I got to do or even see the Women do with the Money in the Bank Ladder match and just having opportunities like that. I just hope we can keep on having this role and growing and making it more. Hopefully we get a Women’s Royal Rumble, I think that would be really cool. I think that would be badass.”
Sasha also discusses her childhood, MMA training, how she created “The Boss” in NXT and future plans.
What did you think of the interview? How would you book a Sasha Banks heel turn? What do you think is next for the Raw Women’s division? Let us know in the comments below!