wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Does Sasha Banks Have the Worst Record in WrestleMania History?

April 26, 2021 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Sasha Banks WrestleMania

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary pals, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I am your party host, Ryan Byers, and I am here to answer some of your burning inquiries about professional wrestling.

If you have one of those queries searing a hole in your brain, feel free to send it along to me at [email protected]. Don’t be shy about shooting those over – the more, the merrier.

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Before we get to the first question this week, I wanted to make a bit of a correction. In our last edition of the column, I was asked to break down the incident between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder on Smackdown in 2003, and, in giving background on Puder, I referenced a criminal conviction being on his record. I received that information from a usually-reliable journalistic source but had it pointed out to me after the column ran that the information may have been incorrect. I did further independent research and concluded that there was no such conviction and had the original post edited as soon as I became aware of that error. My apologies for any confusion that this may have caused.

BCL is asking his first question every, and it’s a doozy:

In thinking about Sasha Banks’ upcoming match with Bianca Belair, I just realized that Sasha is a miserable 0 and 5 at Wrestlemania. Has any other superstar ever had as many Wrestlemania matches without a win?

Of course, I am answering this question after Wrestlemania, where Sasha Banks lost to Bianca Belair. However, I would personally say that Sasha is still 0-5 at Wrestlemania, because in order to get to the 0-5 record prior to the Belair loss, you have to count her loss in the Fabulous Moolah women’s battle royale on the pre-show of Mania XXXIV, and I’ve never counted pre-show matches as being true Wrestlemania matches.

That’s not the meat of the question, though. The meat of the question is whether anybody has a worse WM record than the Boss.

The answer is . . .

Yes. There is one person who has a worse WrestleMania record.

Before we get to that individual, though, let’s talk about two people who have the same 0-5 Wrestlemania record that Sasha does.

The first is R-Truth, who lost in a Tag Team Title match on Mania XXVI, a twelve-man tag on Mania XXVIII, a battle royale on Mania XXX and again on Mania XXXII, plus a six-man ladder match on Mania XXXI.

Rounding out the 0-5 club is Big E. Langston, who lost in a Tag Team Title match at Wrestlemania XXIX, the battle royale at Mania XXX, a six-man tag at WM XXXII, another Tag Title match at Mania XXXIV, and most recently the Intercontinental Title Nigerian Drum Fight at this year’s Wrestlemania.

So, the three people who are tied for the distinction of having the second worst win/loss record at Wrestlemania are Sasha Banks, R-Truth, and Big E.

When you take them together, that’s not exactly the best look for WWE.

Fortunately, the guy who has the absolute worst win/loss record in Wrestlemania history breaks the trend, having a completely different hue. A golden hue, if you will, because if you’re looking for the man who has lost on Wrestlemania more than any other, you need to make sure that you never forget the name of . . . . sssssssssssssssssssssss . . . . Goldust. (Chomp.)

Goldie was pinned by Triple H at Wrestlemania XIII, defeated in a mixed tag by Marc Mero and Sable at Mania XIV, eliminated in a four-corners elimination match by the Road Dogg at Wrestlemania XV, and tossed out of the battles royale at Wrestlemnias XXX and XXXII.

That is also five losses in total, which you might think ties him with Banks, Truth, and Langston. However, there are two things that make Goldust’s record slightly worse than the other three.

The first is that, at Wrestlemania XVIII, he wrestled Hardcore Champion Maven to a no contest. (Yes, a no contest in a hardcore match.) This means, at best, he’s 0-5-1.

You can take that to another level, though, depending on how you want to count Wrestlemania XII. On that show, Goldust made his Mania debut by facing “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in a Hollywood Back Lot Brawl, perhaps the most homophobic match in WWE history. (And think of the ground that covers.) The encounter had no rules and no referee and basically just ended when Goldust got stripped down to his lingerie (seriously) and ran off. Piper’s music did play at the end and some sources list him as the “winner,” but other sources don’t list the brawl as a match at all and instead treat it as an extended angle.

If you go with the former sources, that makes Goldust 0-6-1 at Wrestlemania. Sadly, given his age and the fact that he’s likely to finish out his in-ring career in AEW at this point, he may never get that Mania victory that has eluded him for these last 25 years.

Tyler (not from Winnipeg) is all choked up:

I am curious about the origination of a submission as a finishing maneuver. Who was the first talent to use a submission as a finisher, and who was the first “star” who used a submission as a finisher (if it is not the same person)?

Honestly, the concept of a submission hold in wrestling is so old that it’s probably impossible to pinpoint exactly who used the first one, but the first wrestler that we have record of who made a particular submission a major part of his act is probably Evan “Strangler” Lewis, who was an active wrestler in the 1880s and the 1890s. Lewis was known for his “strangle hold,” which was essentially an early version of what we now know as the sleeper.

(Evan Lewis is not to be confused with Ed “Strangler” Lewis, a multiple-time world champion active in the first half of the 1900s who took his ring name from the earlier Strangler Lewis.)

Tyler from Winnipeg – not to be confused with the prior Tyler – is about to let us know who paid for promotional consideration:

When was Lord Alfred Hayes inducted into the WWE HoF? Is Alfred in any other wrestling Hall of Fame groups?

The Lord never got a full induction in to the WWE Hall of Fame and instead was put in as part of the Legacy Wing in 2018. To my knowledge, the only other HOF that he is part of his the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum which was previously located in upstate New York but now resides in Wichita Falls, Texas. He went into that Hall in 2014, nine years after his death.

He is not in the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, and honestly I’m not sure if he’s ever even gotten serious consideration for it.

Tony E. asks a question with a lot of different dimensions to it:

What are the sizes of WWE’s, AEW’s, Impact’s, and RoH’s wrestling rings?

My understanding is that WWE and AEW’s rings are usually twenty feet square whereas TNA and ROH’s rings are usually eighteen feet square.

Jeffery is asking a loaded question:

I absolutely love wrestling. Been watching since the 80’s to now. I’m 39.

I just don’t understand why so many people hate it now or complain about it ya know.

I still think it’s great myself.

Any ideas?

Whooo boy. Honestly, I could go on at length on this subject, but I’m going to try to keep it relatively brief so that I don’t write a small book.

I think that most people who pay attention to my answers in this column know that I watch very little wrestling anymore after many years of being a huge fan. There isn’t a single wrestling show that I watch on a weekly basis. I mostly wait to hear if anything good or interesting (or trainwreck bad) happens on a show and will catch it later online if it seems like a must see.

Here is a summary of the big reasons why professional wrestling lost me as a hardcore fan, with most of these criticisms applying primarily to WWE, since they are the biggest game in town:

1. There’s too much of it. Between a three hour Raw, a two hour Smackdown, a two hour NXT, and numerous online/ancillary programs each week, to say nothing of the pay per views, I feel as though I have to devote too much time to watching wrestling if I am really going to keep track of everything that is going on.

2. The product is overproduced. When I first started watching wrestling, it felt rough, it felt gritty, and it felt real, largely because of the simplicity of the production. Nowadays everything is in such high definition and there are so many LED panels and other bells and whistles – to say nothing of constant camera cuts – that it feels like just another television show instead of feeling based in reality.

3. Long-term storytelling is dead. Seriously. Good read a good book. Watch a good movie. There’s a beginning, middle, and end and the action rises throughout the first two thirds of the narrative, hits a climax, and then gets resolved. When’s the last time you watched a pro wrestling storyline where that happened? Nowadays, you’ve got all kinds of weird setups like a feud starting with a huge gimmick match and guys wrestling a singles match with no stipulation afterwards, feuds being stretched past their shelf lives by a match or two because the company needs to fill out pay per view cards, or feuds just ending with no real resolution. (Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt immediately springs to mind as a recent example of that last one, as Orton burned Wyatt to “death” and Wyatt never got any measure of revenge.) For all the writers wrestling companies employ, none of them seem to be able to embrace even the most basic narrative structure.

4. Everything is the same. At least in WWE, anyway. In the 1980s and 1990s, it felt like you could watch a wrestling card and the opening match would be totally different than the second which would be totally different than the third, and so on. These days, unless there is one of those gimmick matches that I mentioned earlier, every match on a WWE show feels the same in terms of style. Yes, the moves may be different, but the framework they’re being put into is the same thing every single time, and that didn’t used to be the case.

5. Shane McMahon. That’s it. Just Shane McMahon.

And that’s a wrap. That’s why I don’t watch wrestling full-time anymore.

Dylan is getting ready to piss off Jim Cornette:

What sort of level of fame and recognizability do the top level Japanese women wrestlers have in Japan? And would coming to WWE have a big impact on that? I’m curious as to how well-known the likes of Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Io Shirai were in Japan prior to debuting in WWE.

The current crop of female Japanese wrestlers receive almost no mainstream recognition in Japan. At present, women’s wrestling in the country is a very niche product. It manages to exist off of a core group of devoted fans, but your average resident of Tokyo probably has no idea that women’s professional wrestling exists. It’s not like professional wrestling in the United States, where most people could probably tell you that WWE is a thing, even if they don’t personally pay any attention to it.

To give you an example of just how under the radar this is, the most prominent joshi promotion going today is Stardom, and, even going back to 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic took its toll, Stardom would run about one “major” show per month, and they were doing well if they had 1,000 fans in attendance, with their largest claimed attendance of the year being 1,300. Other shows throughout the month are at smaller venues and get crowds of 250-350 attendees. The major shows are put on pay per view and Samurai TV, with Samurai being a highly specialized cable/satellite channel that focuses exclusively on combat sports. As I understand it, it’s a channel that you’re only getting if you subscribe to some higher tier sports packages.

I should note that the current, obscure status of women’s wrestling is not the way that it’s always been. In the 1980s and the 1990s, major women’s wrestling shows would draw in excess of 10,000 fans, which meant that they had just as much drawing power as the men’s promotions – and, interestingly, people who were watching at the time will tell you that the audiences for men’s wrestling and women’s wrestling were totally different with almost zero overlap.

This means that you’re much more likely to have found an average Japanese citizen who could have named Bull Nakano or Aja Kong when they were working for the WWF twenty-five years ago than you would be to find an average Japanese citizen who could have named Asuka or Kairi Sane prior to their appearing on WWE television.

Allmaninphx is going down on the farm:

Was there a plan for the Red Rooster after the feud with the Heenan Family?

I was not able to find a definitive answer to this question, but I’ve got some background that allows me to make what I think is a fairly solid educated guess.

Bruce Prichard, who was working backstage for the WWF at the time of Terry Taylor’s first run there, has commented on the Red Rooster gimmick a couple of times on his podcast and even once when he was doing a guest appearance on Jim Cornette’s podcast. Prichard’s take on the Rooster is that the character was not envisioned as Taylor being some sort of weird bird-man as it eventually turned into. Instead, Prichard said that Vince McMahon began calling Taylor the “rooster” because he saw him being a very arrogant and proud individual, and he expected Taylor to play up those aspects of his personality in the ring instead of crowing and walking like a chicken.

However, according to Prichard, Taylor never did what the company was looking for in terms of the character, and that’s a big part of he reason why he never went anywhere.

As a result of those comments, I suspect that the WWF DIDN’T have a plan for the Red Rooster after the Heenan Family feud came to an end, simply because he had been with the promotion for over a year at that point and they had given up on him.

For what it’s worth, after Taylor was done wrestling against Bobby Heenan and the Brooklyn Brawler, he did have a couple of different house show programs, as he was a regular opponent for the Honky Tonk Man during the fall of 1989 and Dino Bravo in the spring of 1990. By the summer of ’90, he was out of the WWF and did a tour with All Japan Pro Wrestling before showing up in WCW in August.

Mohamed is back, and he’s wrapping us up:

What was your reaction to Booker T winning the WCW belt at Bash at the Beach 2000?

My recollection is that I was happy to see Booker win the championship in some respects, because by that point he had proved himself to be a talented wrestler but had never been able to break through at a main event level for whatever reason. However, I did not have much time to react to Book holding the belt itself because the whole thing was overshadowed by the situation that unfolded between Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo on the same show, which I discussed in Ask 411 back in November.

That will do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven-ish days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected]. You can also leave questions in the comments below, but please note that I do not monitor the comments as closely as I do the email account, so emailing is the better way to get things answered.