Sasha Banks took a much needed break for herself in 2019 after losing the Women’s Tag Team Championships alongside Bayley at WrestleMania 35. While Bayley continued to work and became SmackDown Women’s Champion, rumors swirled on if Banks was finished with the company.
She returned four to five months later in an unforgettable moment where she turned heel on Natalya and Becky Lynch. While being a guest on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions she opened up about that time.
When she became the inaugural champions with Bayley at Elimination Chamber in 2019 she said she was feeling down.
“At Elimination Chamber, I know how important that match was for Bayley, but at that time I still was slowly [going down] and not happy,” Banks recalled.
Austin asked what led to her feeling this way.
“Depression,” Banks began. “Depression was taking over. My mind was taking over. My thoughts were taking over. This place was being bigger than me. And I really, really lost myself because, for a good seven years, I didn’t even hear my real name. I didn’t hear Mercedes anymore. All I heard was Sasha Banks, and traveling on the road, we only get one to two days off.”
“So, I’m home, not even seeing what my real hair looks like. All I see if purple hair every single day. There were just so many things that were just — I let it control me. I let it take it and be like, ‘This is too much’ instead of being like, ‘You know what? Everything’s good. Breathe. Everything’s fine.’ [Laughs]”
She continues to explain that she was struggling to not lose herself. The decision then came that she had to step away. This of course meant that she had to talk to the boss himself, Vince McMahon.
“I couldn’t even look at myself. I didn’t even know who the hell I was. How I was going into work, how angry I was going in, how sad I was. I was not the person that I dreamt to be.
It hit the fan and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose myself. So I said, ‘You know what? I got to take a step away and find myself again and I gotta be brave about that.’ And that was probably one of the hardest things I had to do — ask to leave the WWE.”
“I asked to leave and Vince was like, ‘no,’” Banks laughed. “He said no. He said I’m gonna give you 30 days to think about it. And I took more than 30 days.”
Banks then goes on to discuss finding herself during her hiatus. She went to Japan and visited a Dojo and talks about asking Meiko Satomura to train with her. Satomura instantly said yes.
Banks’ appearance on Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions is airing as of today on the WWE Network.
Credit for transcriptions to Wrestling Inc.