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.

You can listen to the full interview here.

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!

  • Parasite

    Good think she’s talking about tag team women’s championship i want that to happen, but like she said the division is to small and it wouldn’t work yet .. :(

    • Chris Prevost

      there was a rumor even Lita say it to

    • Gato_wiska

      It can work as an interbrand title.

      • Joseph

        Yea it can be interbrand title.

      • Sha95

        No. That defeats the whole purpose of a brand split. I think it’s best we just be patient until the the division continues to grow in numbers. The 5 new women being called up from NXT was a start but it’s still not enough women on their respective brands yet for tag titles.

  • iOwnThatSonOfABitch

    Gosh the grammar on that header is so bad and obvious to not point out.

    Sasha should’ve switched heel a long time ago

    • Chris Prevost

      its to late now LMAO

      • iOwnThatSonOfABitch

        It was corrected

  • Izzy4lw

    I just listened to an opinion piece and I think this sort of ties into it: WWE no longer knows how to build babyfaces. Every babyface is generic in WWE: there’s no such thing as a fiery babyface, or an anti-hero anymore. We don’t have a Steve Austin, a Rock, an AJ Lee, or a Melina who could be a babyface and still talk like a heel, fight like a heel, but could bat for the good guys. To use X-men terminology; they want every babyface to be a cyclops, but sometimes you just need a wolverine to get the job done. The fact that Sasha feels she can’t be super cocky and be a face is symptomatic of an absolutely disgustingly one dimensional creative team who thinks audiences will gravitate to a pushover and that every ending should be a feel good story, when all evidence points to the contrary: Lita got some of the loudest pops in her survivor series match where she got DQ’d against Trish for hitting her with a chair, Trish/Mickie feud involved both acting Heelish to one up each other, Beth and Melina was white hot when they were trying to kill each other- so why WWE thinks every babyface needs to be a Saint and a martyr is beyond me.

    • Jo9834

      Your absolutely right, words right out of my mouth right here.

      The thing is…the WWE knows damn well how to write and create those types of characters, its the PG era that is holding them back. Creative isn’t as uncreative as we possibly think, the truth is, the restrictions placed on the writing teams by corporate (don’t forget Linda is now heavily involved in politics) is whats holding the product back.

      The attitude era was so exciting to watch, because of its unpredictability, and the fact that characters rang true to who they were. Imagine Sasha running rife in the days of Trish and Lita, NO ONE would be safe. We won’t get that era again anytime soon, but I have hope that eventually the WWE will find a balance once Vince hands in the towel , NXT is a great example of this, they tip toe on the lines of what the attitude Era brought to the table.

      I just want the girls to go all out and actually rip into each other once in a while, be involved with the guys in the main event, run out during the main event to battle at ringside with the guys, backstage brawls and love trysts, twists and scandals. Its all part of the cheesy world of wrestling which makes it so good!.

      • Izzy4lw

        I agree that the PG Era has taken away those bigger moments that made fans jump out of their seats, but imo It’s more than just the era; why couldn’t Sasha act like a heel but just focus that rage on Alexa and Paige? Why is it whenever someone becomes a babyface now they immediately do a 180 personality wise? Melina held that fire for a year or so after her turn until creative said “make her smiley babyface #12” AJ Lee was the same character face or heel, and that was why she was over until her retirement.

        Sasha could easily have kept that fire and that sass and been over as hell, but she’s become just another babyface preaching friendship and competition.

        IMO Sasha, Paige, Ruby, and Charlotte are all characters who could/should be, at most, anti-heroes instead of knights in shining armor, but in the case of the horse women, they’ve all been shoehorned into a bland babyface role that really only Becky Lynch has made work (more due to her characterization than any outstanding booking or writing) and it’s killed babyface on the main roster.

        • Joseph

          Its not hard to book a PG rating show that doesn’t suck. Chikara is a PG promotion yet they have no problem booking a show with that rating.

          • Izzy4lw

            Right! Which is why I mentioned that it often comes down to the road agents and the writers who reduce their talents (male or female) to these one dimensional good guys who stay strong in the face of adversity, never cheat, and will be able to get their redemption at some point down the road. The issue with this is the fans get tired of seeing someone get pushed around, so they start cheering the Heels because hey, at least they have a distinct personality!

            That’s why when everyone screams for babyfaces to turn heel; I don’t think it’s because people legitimately believe that someone can’t be a face, it’s because WWE kills every single babyface with momentum. Sasha is the #1 example to this: she went from being the most over female on the entire roster, to getting crickets. It isn’t because she’s pushed too much or because she’s ‘shoved down our throats’ it’s because the writing for her character has killed all of her momentum.

        • Nadia

          Yep. Austin and Sasha talked about Baby Face characterization being bland and stating why should the audience cheer you now if you change your character, just because you are a goody two shoes? Its not easy. The core of the character should be the same. Heel or Baby Face.

        • Jo9834

          Sasha has and will be held back and watered down for years to come, its no secret (and been reported in shoot interviews) that Vince and co never want a female to get as big as Sable or Chyna were back in the day.

          Lita and Trish were built and pushed as company women, they got the job done, even barked in the ring , took insane bumps and were literally put through hell and highwater for their spot.

          Sasha will have her moment again, but as a heel. Maybe not the type of heel that we want, but she’ll be big. Anti heroes aren’t dead they just aren’t as hot as they used to be.

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    • Sha95

      You have a point but I disagree. I believe Sasha is exactly that, an anti-hero. Sure, she’s babyface and doesn’t act like a heel..she shouldn’t, she’s not. Banks has always had an edge to her throughout her whole face run. She reminds me of AJ Lee in the sense of how she carries herself as a face.

      • Izzy4lw

        She’s the closest to that anti-hero we love to root for, but I feel like it isn’t fully realized. She’s only ever shown that those mannerisms against Alexa when she was allowed to be a bit more of the boss character (but even that seemed muted in comparison to the outright “I’m doing this to kick your ass, not because you’re the villain” persona she showed when she first went face against Charlotte) and against Charlotte. Against everyone else it’s just been a shadow of the boss character people love. I’ll admit there will always be an edge that she has as a face that others don’t, but it isn’t allowed to be expanded on, and instead creative gives us talks about her friendships with Bayley and the revolution.

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    • Pablo Albarrán

      Yup, and I got to say, you can have this good girl that believes in doing right all the time and still make her connect with the crowd and make her to have her badass moments. For me Bayley was that girl, back in NXT.

      I loved her contract signing with Asuka, and the moment when she threated her was freaking cool.

  • Chris Prevost

    you know why Alexa bliss is on Top She can Cut Promo

    • KatyaMenelli

      or because she looks like a To Catch A Predator decoy. no shade. Gotta remember who the owner of the company is.

      • Izzy4lw

        ‘to catch a predator decoy’ IM DEAD.

        I don’t think she looks that young, but I do think that part of the reason she is pushed so hard is because she has the look that Vince is fond of – pretty and blond.

        • Gerg

          Liv and Mandy gonna dominate their brands in the future.

        • Omar Zaal

          Pretty Blond people dominate everywhere.
          Even in my country most of the higher ups are blonds.

  • Nadia

    Great interview. “…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” She on point right here. I don’t necessary agree with WWE doing this but this is pretty much how they book.

    Also it was nice that she finally admitted to preferring being a heel. Austin was so excited to talk about her heel pesona. It was cute.

  • Sasha is everything as heel persona, she nailed that character perfectly, I mean that’s how she became “The Boss”
    On the other hand as Babyface knows how to gain the wwe universe.

  • Wicked Emma

    I believe Sasha will turn heel again.

    • Sha95

      Definitely. She’s destined to be a heel.

      • Wicked Emma

        After what happened last Monday. I believe she’s going to turn on Bayley and Mickie.

        • Joseph

          I don’t see it happening.

          • Wicked Emma

            I do. I’m not talking about now I’m talking about down the line.

          • Joseph

            If they are going to get the band back together since isn’t turning in the next 6 months.

  • Kiana Taylor
    • MiguelAngl

      Please. Back when she was THE BOSS.
      She also need to change her hair color to a darker one. She looked was better before with the red lips. Now she looks like a clown when shes wreslting.

    • MK126

      Everything about her during NXT was ICONIC

  • Edwards1992

    She will turn heel at wrestle mania..mark my words lol

    • Chargod Flair #5x

      She won’t

    • NoWayHoeSay

      It was so iconic when Trish turnt at mania

  • Geo14

    She will turn heel at the Preshow of Wrestlemania.

  • Kendra

    WWE wont ever put banks on top because she black and snoop dog cousin. WWE only wants white girls to be the top woman. snoop dog got beef Vince McMahon best friend Trump. Sasha Banks needs to leave wwe

    • BeenAFan98

      Also WWE knows she’s money! She’s one of the top sellers or merchandise her brand to marketable! Heel or Face

      • Kendra

        so they just using her for sales smh

        • Super Mateo

          You know that’s the reason the business exists, right? Everyone on the show is on it to help try to make the WWE more money.

    • Carolution

      your dislike for white people is showing and sasha is a multi-time champion so wwe does put her on top

      • Kendra

        sasha is a multi time champion but only had them all for a week or less. WWE have her as the weakest champion. which is sad cuz she had iconic matches and can pull some more iconic matches , unlike alexa bliss who cant pull a iconic match cuz her ring skills sucks but yet she gets to keep the belt longer for some reason and wwe keep putting alexa over everybody is sooooo diva era to me

  • YonceLuvsDivas

    I mean yea your suppose to have your faces who’s really all bubblegum and sunshine but as well other faces that have some edge to them. WWE is too busy signing all these different talents and lost sight of actually putting effort and time in to their key players. I liked when WWE was very selective on who they sign. Now it’s anybody could get a job there. Hell I might as well send in my resume now. I bet if I kiss ass backstage and my good looks will get me a Championship within my first month.

  • Chargod Flair #5x

    Sasha can’t be heel because everyone loves her. she’ll be cheered no matter what she does. That automatically disqualifies her from being heel because you can’t make someone truly loved a heel. Alexa Bliss is a much better heel because people legitimately hate her, that won’t happen with Sasha. If Sasha were to just turn heel and beat the shit out of Bayley that would not get her heat everyone would cheer her. That kind of falls on Bayley though because she’s not fulfilling her role in the division correctly, she should be the top Babyface if she knew how to, but everyone hates her. I think Bayley has a better chance of being heel than Sasha. But the question is could Bayley even pull that off?

  • 3???????

    Sasha is a better wrestler as a heel FACT!

  • 3???????

    Sasha is the top selling female as far as merchandise , she will be force to stay face like Cena

  • GLAMPIREQUEEN

    Think the only thing holding Sasha back from turning heel is there’s no credible babyface to take her place. She’s the only one still super over. They’ve ruined Mickie and Bayley. Her heel work could probably put both of them over again though, but I think the company is high on Paige as the top and only heel on Raw (minus her crew), even Alexa has taken a big step back/become irrelevant since Paige’s return. When it was the perfect time to pull the trigger for her heel turn, the company failed to do it every time.

    • Izzy4lw

      The sad thing is she’s not even ‘super’ over; her momentum has been halted because of her booking. Mickie has potential as a babyface if they give her something to work with, so I would never count her out. My concern is mostly that with Paige seemingly gearing up to the top heel in the company, I’m worried they’ll use Absolution to turn Alexa Bliss face so she can continue her monstrous Push in a feud against the stable until they’re ready to bring Asuka in against Absolution.

  • NoWayHoeSay

    She should be Paige’s main feud to get Paige over more as a heel as she gets cheers rn

  • Crazy. #RIPMae

    Girl we prefer you as heel, too! I need to see Heel Sasha. Hurry up, WWE!

  • Juelez

    Cause she’s a stuck up b in real life it’s easier to playa heel vs a face. Esp nowadays all you have to do is act better than the face. There’s no depth to it anymore and with kayfabe gone .-.

  • Zeek Jones

    sashas heel turn is long over due

  • The Wicked Bitch

    I think I’ll never see her turn heel again. Same with Alexa turning face. It feels like they have been playing their current roles since forever but it’s only been like 2 years lol

  • Kyle

    If WWE wants well for Sasha, keep putting her up against Paige… those two have seriously good ring chemistry that I enjoy; but no feud has been put to MAXIMUM potential. Sasha was supposed to be the female face of the company, but WWE hasn’t killed it with her lately.

    I also want to see more from Alexa… a retort to Paige and her group. Make things interesting; don’t make Paige’s group invincible… I get so tired of that shit happening.

    • BeenAFan98

      I was hoping for a somewhat of a face turn for Alexa since she clearly not messing with Paige and her crew she’s either gone have to start her own or join forces with the faces

  • BeenAFan98

    Bring back heel Sasha! Well it’s seems unlikely for sometime now but I can’t wait until she turns!

  • BeenAFan98

    I for one am tired or Sasha being the one to put EVERYBODY over! Not saying that she shouldn’t lose but just because she has great matches and she does well with storytelling in the ring all this at what cost?! I’m here for a Smackdown move

  • #ROSEARMY

    Sasha lowkey tired of putting over these hoes for nothing tho.

    I’m joking. I adore this girl. Her energy, her edginess, her commitment to being a top flight wrestler, and her ambition. I hope WWE tap into her potential creatively. As the Boss she’s a completely different category of superstar. Let it happen.

  • Brian Sharpe

    So, there is a really big story involving a WWE superstar and an independent woman wrestler.
    It’s all over Yahoo and other wrestling blogs and sites but Diva-Dirt isn’t touching it.
    Why is that?

  • Pablo Albarrán

    “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”

    This is exactly what I think. I don’t agree with the people who complains about what’s been going on smackdown for these last months, in the very sense of not everything revolving around the title. That is actually one of the reasons for wrestlers to be relegated, not just in the women’s division but in the company in general. When the stories aren’t able to happen outside the fight for the championship is when you have two or three wrestlers being put on the scene. And that is actually when the viewers get to see less character development ’cause the only thing you get to see often time is why the wrestler thinks he/she should be the champion.

  • Omar Zaal

    She’s probably imo the most improved female wrestler in history.

    I remember her days as Mercedes KV wearing Kelly Kelly’s outfits
    Bland move-sets and yet beating TNA’s Roxxi twice (I’m like really wtf) but now she’s so good I could picture her defeating Kong.