SI.com’s Wrestling Week in Review is published every Wednesday and provides beneath the surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling.
Sasha Banks discusses her run as WWE women’s champion
Sasha Banks only held the WWE women’s championship for 27 days, so she is fully aware there is still much work to be done to prove she is worthy of the moniker “The Boss.”
“I’ve only been in WWE for three years, and this is only my first year on the main roster,” reflected Banks. “But I’ve made noise from NXT Takeover last year to SummerSlam this year.”
Banks is taking time to recover from nagging injuries, but she remains in the throes of a feud with WWE women’s champion Charlotte that wrestling purists should admire. She is dutifully chasing the champion, and the art of pro wrestling is largely built on the chase. The 24-year-old Banks is confident that her story with Charlotte is far from over.
“Patience is key,” explained Banks. “You can’t get selfish, and that’s the number one thing I’ve learned at WWE. The world continues to go round, and I just knew–given the right opportunity and the right moment–that the world would know I was good, but now the world knows that I’m great.”
The opportunity to fight for the championship at WrestleMania in a first of its kind women’s triple threat match reminded Banks of her hero, Eddie Guerrero, and his coronation at WrestleMania XX at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“Eddie Guerrero is my number one,” confirmed Banks. “He is the reason I am in the WWE–I wanted to be the female version of him.”
People are talking about women’s wrestling, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted since I was ten years old. I wanted people to talk about the women and all they could do. We’re celebrating women’s wrestling. People want to see us, and we’re just doing our best.
Banks learned the business during her time in the independent wrestling scene in Boston, Massachusetts, and she credits that period for helping her evolve into the success she is today.
“Once I moved to Boston, that’s where everything came full circle for me,” said Banks. “I joined a wrestling school, and it was the same wrestling school I remember emailing when I was twelve and they told me I was too young. Then, there I was at 18, walking through the doors to this fantasy camp and I was the only girl. I walked in and thought, ‘I got this,’ and I got it. They gave me three months of free training, and they helped a little Mercedes KV turn into ‘The Boss’ Sasha Banks. That’s why I love Boston so much, it’s home. I got the phone call for my tryout in Boston. Boston is home, I love it.”
Banks revealed her post-Raw vices, which include carbs and, naturally, red wine.
“After a pay per view, I know there is TV the next day,” explained Banks. “But after Raw, I like to eat bad. I can have some pizza, French fries, a burger, live it up, a glass of wine–red, of course.”
Despite all the success that Banks has attained in the past year, she continues to have grand designs for her future.
“I’ve accomplished so many of my dreams already, but main-eventing WrestleMania is a dream,” said Banks. “Also, I want to be on the cover of the 2K game next year–bye bye, Brock. The sky is the limit, and there is no limit to my dreams.”
News of the Week
CM Punk’s UFC debut takes place on September 10, as the former WWE champion battles Mickey Gall at UFC 203.
Punk trains at Roufusport Martial Arts Academy in Milwaukee under the tutelage of Duke Roufous, and one of his teammates and training partners is former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
Pettis, who holds a 19-5 record, is only days removed from his submission victory over Charles Oliveira this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night. Going by the nickname of “Showtime,” Pettis is the first ever UFC champion to grace the cover of a Wheaties box.
Despite MMA aficionados claiming that Gall will dominate and win, Pettis believes Punk is preparing to shock the fight world.
“Punk is going to surprise people,” said Pettis. “He’s here training with a group of young kids, and this is all they want–this is their dream, their goal, their passion. Punk is already rich, he has money, he has fame, yet he’s still in here grinding with us, and that’s what I love about him.”
The 37-year-old Punk, who has no background as a mixed martial artist, has impressed Pettis with his work ethic and humility.
“He’s been willing to work for it,” said Pettis. “He’s not a guy who just talks. He’s in here–every day–grinding with us. There are some killers in this gym, and he’s out here hanging out with us, and I think it’s going to rub off.