Last year during WrestleMania season, I asked Tonya to share her thoughts on the Main Event between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair, both before and after the match happened. You can find them here and here. This year, she graciously accepted the invitation to come back and share some more as we head into WrestleMania 38. You can find her at @TheWitchMilitia on Twitter.
Sasha Banks is one of the biggest WWE stars the company currently employs. This is evidenced in the fact that for years now the conversation around her WrestleMania plans have been discussed at length in the months leading up to the event. A large portion of women’s wrestling fans expect Banks to either be a champion or challenger for a single’s championship. Much is made of the fact that, despite making history on more than one occasion at the event, she is yet to score a victory. Some of her most diehard fans will even argue because she is winless, she has yet to have a true “WrestleMania Moment”.
Last year, entering the event as SmackDown women’s champion, there was a push by some for Sasha to get her first win, despite the glaringly obvious fact that WWE was in the midst of crowning a new star in Bianca BelAir. This year, the talk has seemed to focus around the fact that Banks is not in a singles match but rather teaming with Naomi, a stalwart of the division, to vie for the Women’s Tag Team Championship, with certain wrestling journalists and fans calling the match “meaningless”. I beg to freaking differ that it is “meaningless”.
WWE makes a lot of demands of their top champions, requiring them to always be on and available for a workload can be considerably heavier than the already difficult schedule required as a pro wrestler. I would then like to remind people of early 2019, during WrestleMania season, when Sasha Banks was mentally exhausted. She claimed to not know who she was outside of being the character she portrayed in the ring. A part of this frustration surely came from dealing with the workload, all that pressure and responsibility square on her shoulders.
I would also like to remind people that WWE very well may not even have Women’s Tag Team Championship titles if not for the efforts of Banks and Bayley advocating for them. Those two women put a lot of time into those titles to create a space where women did not need to be in the top title match to get a spotlight. Sasha being involved with the tag division will always make sense and have meaning when you remember she is a big reason the belts exist in the first place.
Look, I get it. I do. Tag team wrestling in general has never been WWE’s strong suit in general, let alone in the still mistreated women’s division. The booking of those titles since their inception is criminal. But anything worthwhile is worth sticking out and trying for better. It is clear that for the time being, the tag division needs someone the caliber of Sasha Banks competing for the division to be taken seriously. The quality and time given to the women’s tag matches have improved in recent weeks. I have no doubt it is because Sasha is directly involved. Because WWE needs someone like her involved. She has been given that trust.
It is very unclear if there would even be a third match on the card for the women if not for the existence of the women’s tag titles. The company conveniently killed their big non title women’s feud, Naomi versus Sonya Deville, right before the Royal Rumble. The Andre Memorial Battle Royal isn’t on the actual Mania card this year so I have a hard time believing they would even attempt a Women’s Battle Royal. I have no doubt WWE would have made room for Sasha in one of the title matches but it is certain she would not be leaving as champion, way more certain than her not becoming tag champs with Naomi.
Sure, Sasha Banks should always be involved in something BIG at the grandest stage of them all! And I insist that whatever Sasha is involved in is big BECAUSE she is involved. You don’t have to take my word for it. Look at the crowd reactions to those segments. Because the company has that kind of trust in her, she is able to be in a situation where she gets to shine and other women do as well. She fought for that and she gets to see that through. She appears to be the happiest I have seen her in a while. And her odds for finally getting that WrestleMania Moment seem higher than they have ever been. She is still the boss, inspiring the current and next generation of women to come. And there isn’t anything meaningless about that.