WWE former Raw women’s champion Sasha Banks talks about her WWE India tour, the Survivor Series 2017 5-on-5 traditional match, the Raw Women’s title, headlining WrestleMania and more…
Sasha Banks. Pic/ AFP
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Survivor Series traditional match?
I am very excited and definitely feel the Raw brand is better. We have the likes of Nia Jax, Alicia Fox as well as Asuka who is undefeated. If they really feel we are going to lose now… I don’t think so. I know SmackDown Live have Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Natalya, Carmella but they can’t hold us back. We are the better brand.
With the current Raw roster being so strong, when can we expect you fighting for the Raw Women’s title?
I am coming to India and will be wrestling Alexa Bliss for the title. So this December you will see me in the Raw women’s title picture and I plan to leave India as Raw Women’s champion.
Do you think women could have a chance headlining WrestleMania?
Absolutely. It has been a dream to main event a Raw pay-per-view and the whole idea is for women to have the opportunity at the main event at WrestleMania. Whether it’s myself, Bayley or any other woman, I know, given an opportunity we would cherish it and definitely make it happen.
Recently we have witnessed many MMA artists entering WWE. Do you think this could affect WWE? How do you view this as competition and from a company perspective?
I think its great. If they want to see what we do, bring it on! They would have to go through what I did and what other NXT women. So, if Ronda Rousey and other MMA stars want to join its great. There are only 4 horsewomen – that’s Charlotte, Bayley, Becky Lynch and myself.
Speaking about the MAE Young Classic, after the cruiserweight, we saw a show dedicated to them. Do you think its time the women of WWE get their own show?
That’s a hard show. With the MAE Young Classic, many women around the world had the opportunity to show what they are made of. You never know if something like that could happen in WWE. But if we do have our own show it would be great.
What would be the next innovation that you would want for yourself in WWE?
My main goal is to headline WrestleMania. I know that it is possible after the first women’s Hell in A Cell, Money in the Bank match, you never know what’s going to happen in WWE. But I would love to have an ‘I Quit’ match, I think that would be really cool.
Do you feel it is time for you to move to SmackDown? If so, when do you see yourself going to SD Live?
That would ideally happen during the draft, but I do not know when the next WWE draft is. Although I really want to go to SmackDown Live, I feel Raw is my home. We have an amazing roster and talent on Raw, so it would be weird if I move. Right now I am on Raw, the better brand since I am on it.
Who is your dream opponent for WrestleMania 24?
My dream opponent would be Bayley. If not Bayley, I would like to have a fatal four-way match with myself, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Bayley, as we had at NXT. I think that would be an amazing match and I know we can steal the show like we always do.
Do you have any funny incidents backstage that you would like to share?
Well actually every day has something funny and it’s a new day. I don’t really have a funny story.
Which female wrestlers outside WWE have influenced you. Recently, Manami Toyota retired. What are your thoughts on that?
Manami is a big inspiration to me outside of WWE. Because of her and other Japanese wrestlers, I knew that women could wrestle. Seen her retire broke my heart as that would be a dream match for me. We have Asuka here now and she is telling us her story and can also relate to Manami.
You have watched the likes of Lita and Trish Stratus, but WWE changed the direction with the Divas. How did you Charlotte and Becky react when you were told the Women’s title is back at WrestleMania?
Well, you can actually watch that on the WWE network when the women’s Revolution did a tour, and see how I cried my eyes out. For me, I always wanted to know what it is to change the definition of being a Diva, but little did I know Trish and Lita changed the whole division. From the Divas championship to the Women’s championship – it was no butterfly title anymore. When Triple H and Stephanie McMahon told us that we were not going to be Divas but superstars and WrestleMania was going to introduce a brand new championship, I was so happy and I just could not stop smiling. It made me happy to be part of such an amazing brand and these incredible women have worked so hard to be role models and lead the way. To see young women come to our shows now and fathers coming up to us saying that it is because of us that their daughter wants to become a wrestling star it is an amazing feeling.
You have always paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero in the past, with his anniversary, can you share your favourite Eddie Guerrero memory?
I think my favourite Eddie Guerrero memory is when he won the WWE championship at No Way OUT. I remember crying but I was very happy. Eddie Guerrero is such a great role model and he was my hero. I love all his matches. That’s why I paid tribute to him at WrestleMania when I wore his gear.