wrestling / Columns

How Sasha Banks Would Change the Landscape Of AEW’s Women’s Division

June 20, 2022 | Posted by Kelly Sullivan
Sasha Banks WWE Extreme Rules Image Credit: WWE

Just over a month ago, the world of professional wrestling was set on its collective ear when Naomi and Sasha Banks walked out on WWE just hours before they were scheduled to compete in a six-pack challenge on an episode of Monday Night Raw.

As of now, there has been no official word from either Banks or WWE on Banks’ status with the company, but the prevailing thought is that the WWE has released Sasha Banks, as evidenced by the below tweet from Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp:

If this is true, the immediate question on wrestling fans’ minds will be what is next for Banks?

Only she knows the answer to that for sure.

There is a chance that Sasha Banks may take a prolonged break from or may even be done with wrestling. She made her acting debut in Season 2 of the popular series, The Mandalorian, and now that she no longer has to keep up with the demands of the WWE schedule, she will be able to explore all of her possibilities within Hollywood much more freely than would have been possible for her while under a WWE contract.

But at just 30 years of age and entering what would be considered to be the prime of her wrestling career, the most likely scenario is that Banks will want to compete inside the wrestling ring again.

When that time comes, the destination that makes the most sense is AEW.

Why Sasha Banks and AEW would be a perfect fit

Banks’ arrival in AEW would do for the women’s division the same thing that Bryan Danielson and CM Punk’s arrival did for the men’s division.

It would insert one of the best wrestlers in the world at the top of the card, a top draw performer who is no stranger to having must-see matches. Banks would give the AEW women’s the division the one thing it desperately needs – a bonafide superstar.

While AEW has improved its women’s division tremendously over the past two years with the signings of Toni Storm, Athena, Ruby Soho, Jamie Hayter, Paige VanZant, and Mercedes Martinez – all while developing the likes of Tay Conti, Anna Jay, Red Velvet, and Kris Statlander – the division has always felt a bit lacking at the top, with seemingly only Britt Baker and Jade Cargill able to create true excitement over a women’s program.

If AEW was able to sign Sasha Banks, it would immediately add a third person with these capabilities from the moment that Banks arrived in the promotion.

Not only would the signing of Banks be huge for the promotion, but it would also benefit the women already in AEW.

As of now, the norm on both AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage is to feature just one women’s match on the majority of each episode of both shows. This works out to two women’s matches in the three hours of weekly television programming that AEW provides.

Adding Sasha Banks to a roster that already consists of Hikaru Shida, Serena Deeb, Jade Cargill, Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, Britt Baker, and recent arrivals Toni Storm and Athena, would make it nearly impossible to not feature the women’s division more than AEW is currently doing. Just the amount of sheer talent alone will force Tony Khan’s hand to make an adjustment and make the women’s division a bigger part of the weekly television plans.

Of course, there is a very important question that needs to be asked: Would Sasha Banks even want to sign with AEW?

While that is anyone’s guess, there are signs that point to the affirmative.

While Sasha has held the Raw Women’s Title five times and the Smackdown Women’s Title once, she was never given a prolonged title run or seemed to be pushed to the extent of Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch during her time in WWE. The opportunity to go to your former employer’s biggest competitor and become that company’s biggest female star, all while shining like you were never given a chance to do before has to be extremely appealing.

When you consider that with the fact that AEW provides flexibility that allows its performers to do other projects on the side as well as wrestle for other promotions, this may just be a match made in heaven as Banks seems poised to become a star outside of the squared circle as well.

No one knows exactly how the story between Sasha Banks and WWE will end. By this time next week, Banks may be taking losses to Dana Brooke in 24/7 Title matches while back under the WWE umbrella.

But one thing is for certain, if Banks is indeed granted her release by WWE, Tony Khan would be a fool to not be on the phone with her the minute her non-compete expires.

article topics :

AEW, Sasha Banks, Kelly Sullivan