WWE has been a bit of a mixed bag in regards to its women’s division in 2019. Following a monumental main event at the company’s flagship program, WrestleMania, the division seemed bound to thrive as an equal counterpart to the men’s divisions. Unfortunately, that proclamation was not met. The company’s top public figures, Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins, were on hiatus from the organization. Elsewhere in the locker room, reliable workers such as Nia Jax and Ruby Riot were also unable to compete. And then…there was the case of Sasha Banks.
Banks has long been regarded as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all-time in the WWE. She is viewed as one of the most respected and capable workers able to create captivating matches with almost every woman she works with. Since being called up to WWE’s main roster in 2015, Banks has built quite the legacy. She is a four-time former Women’s Champion and was one of the first ever Women’s Tag Team Champions, alongside current SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. She competed in the first women’s Hell in a Cell Match, Ironman Match, and first women’s match to main event both a network special and pay-per-view in the company’s history. Yet, in her four years in the company, all of her moments have come with some drama.
As a four time champion, her reigns have been associated with her inability to successfully defend a championship and holding titles for no more than a month. For each of those monumental moments she has had, including competing in a match often regarded as the greatest women’s matches of all time against Bayley in 2015, she has been on the losing end of nearly all of them. Her work has yet to pay off in a capacity where she thrives in the position of her counterparts such as Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, or Becky Lynch.
Rumors rumbled for four months that Banks attempted to leave the company due to poor booking heading into WrestleMania. Even more rumors surrounded her attempting to leave and join the new competitive organization of AEW, until August 12. Banks returned to WWE on Monday Night Raw and snatched her on wig; revelaing blue hair, a new demeanor, and beating former allies Natalya and Becky Lynch senseless. Known as a “good girl” for the past three years, Banks seems poised to return to the core root of her bad ass character that made her a huge star in professional wrestling during her time in NXT.
Since her return, WWE’s YouTube and social media accounts have seen a revigorated surge in interest. Within 48 hours, Banks return video had accumulated over 3 million views. The Monday Night of her return saw her become the #1 trending topic in the United States. Anticipation appears to be at a fever pitch for her inevitable showdown with current Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch. At a time when the company is scrambling to fix the issues of its disjointed roster, it may have found the answer it has been looking for in a star highly capable of handling the pressure.