Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Booker T’s problematic response to Sasha Banks

Sasha Banks has been MIA since she and Bayley lost the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships to The IIconics Wrestlemania 35. Rumors have swirled about her for the last few weeks.

Some say the former Raw Women’s Champion is taking a sabbatical. Others claim she wanted to quit, and WWE is giving her a break. Finally, Meltzer suggests she is going to attempt to sit out her contract.

In the month since Sasha lost her smile, everyone—both fans and fellow wrestlers—has been chomping at the bit to give their take. Enter Booker T. On his podcast
The Hall of Fame w/ Booker T podcast, he gave his commentary and it went like this:

“My take on this is that a lot of times things aren’t made up sometimes to what you think they are. You can think things are a certain way when you get there, but when you finally get there you realize that it is not what you thought it was…I remember a guy by the name of Avon Riley when I first started wrestling back in the day.”

“The guy used to play for the Houston Oilers back in the day, and then he got out of football and wanted to get into wrestling and he realized that pro wrestling is nowhere near where he thought it was. He was out in a heartbeat, but there are those ones like Sasha Banks, who has all that talent and rises up to that top level and gets there and then realizes that it is not what she thought it was because the reason is that it is not all about you. It is never going to be about you.” (huge thanks to our friends at Wrestling Inc. for the transcript)

Sasha Banks
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Essentially, he feels Sasha thinks it’s about her, and there have been rumblings on the dirt sheets. Various sources claim The Boss has a bit of an attitude. Booker didn’t stop there.

He goes on to say, “I don’t write the script and that is one of the reasons why I am here today; I never really cared about what the script was. Give it to me and let me go out and get it done. If it was something that I didn’t disagree with, I was going to go out there and get it done. If I had disagreed with it, I would have said, hey, I don’t agree with this. Let’s change this because I am not doing it this way, then they would change it, and that is the way business has always been done with me. I can’t say that with everybody, but with me that was how it was done.

“I never looked at pro wrestling any other way than being entertainment. I never looked at it like it was anything but storylines. I never looked at it like it was anything but Shakespeare with Romeo & Juliet, Phantom of the Opera. I never looked at it any other way than everyone getting their turn, but I must say that Sasha Banks has had a lot of success. How many women get in the business that never win?”

“I am going to tell you right now Sasha Banks has had more life-changing moments than so many that have walked into this business. She is made and she can do anything she wants as far as this business goes from what she has gotten from this business. “So, I don’t understand it. I can just say that. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand a lot of this stuff that goes on these days. We are in a totally different world right now as far as the pro wrestling business goes. 

“Hey man, for me, it was all about the money and taking care of my family and to create moments along the way and memories to be able to touch people and at the same time being able to change their lives.”

Here Booker, is where you deserve a gathering. There is no denying that Sasha Banks’ attitude can be problematic. No, she has never been politically correct in her interviews. She wears her heart on her sleeve and she has said things against the company line time and again.

She has done that since day one, from talking about not wanting anything to do with Total Divas during her time in NXT to her less-than-stellar views on Ronda Rousey. Sasha always believed she is the best, and thus rewarded for her drive and skill.

Sasha Banks
Photo credit:

Where Booker is right. Banks was treated better than some of her peers. However, it doesn’t mean her feelings are invalid. In the last few years, there are women who were booked worse, but that doesn’t mean that Sasha isn’t allowed to feel undervalued when she’s been given hollow title victories. Even more, she has basically been a jobber to the stars.

She is a four-time champion, who hasn’t held a title past a single defense. She’s seemingly used to have good to great matches with less talented women. Then she’s cast aside. It’s frustrating to watch.

Booker raises the point that he has always seen it as he’s an entertainer, but Sasha is a wrestler. While it’s well and good to see it from that perspective, there are those, who take their craft more seriously. They strive to be the best in their division and at times were, but the payout at times undercut the work.

What Booker T said comes off like a weak, establishment response. This isn’t even the first time he has expressed this sentiment. He took up for Hulk Hogan, encouraging others to give him a second chance. He essentially just admitted he was ok with that racist angle, which led to a baffling loss Triple H at WrestleMania 19 because he goes where the money goes.

Now, this statement underscores an issue many in the world face today. If you want to be paid well, you have to happily accept whatever treatment you’re given.

There is always a time and a place for dissenting opinion. Sasha may need to learn diplomacy, but no one should sweep her feelings under the rug. When Stone Cold took his ball and went home in 2002, he didn’t receive nearly as much flack. CM Punk walked out and was hailed a hero by many in the IWC because he had legitimate gripes, along the same vein as Sasha’s. The Revival is reportedly unhappy with their booking, not much dissent there.

Gail Kim famously had enough, and quit in spectacular fashion. But she was pegged as bitter and angry by many of the males in the wrestling universe. While it undoubtedly hurts to lose a WWE paycheck, this idea that you should put up with the poor treatment for the sake of it is ridiculous. Cody Rhodes left to do his own thing and he’s thriving.

WWE is no longer the only place wrestlers can cut their teeth, and Sasha is in a long line of people who are dissatisfied with their position with the company. No matter what she decides to do she has the right to do what’s in her best interest. Nobody is ever good for business if they can’t give their all to it. Is it worth it to keep going to a job that isn’t giving you what you feel you deserve?

What do you think? Does Booker T have a point? Have you ever been in a position where you feel angry at your job? Sound off in the comments below!

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