Forget “Women Wrestler of the Year”, Sasha Banks should be in contention for “Wrestler of the Year”, after the impressive work she’s done in 2015. Spending much of the year as the NXT Women’s Champion, Sasha has put on multiple awe-inspiring matches this year, starting with her brutal encounter with Becky Lynch back at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable. The match left both competitors battered, but in the end, Sasha was able to escape with her beloved title.
Then, she went on to have an absolute classic match against Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in front of a crowd of over 15,000 people, putting on one of the finest matches ever seen in the WWE. Unfortunately, Sasha lost the title, but had a chance at redemption in a 30 minute Iron-Man match at NXT TakeOver: Respect. In what would be the longest women’s match in WWE history, the two wrestlers had an incredible back and forth match, that eventually saw Bayley, yet again, pull out the big win.
Even though this was a great year for Sasha Banks, at only 23 years old, it’s fair to say she’s just getting started with this whole "being awesome" thing. So, while the following pictures are no doubt, must see, be sure to check out the intriguing facts about “The Boss”, and see why she’s worked hard to be one of the best in pro wrestling!
12 Why So Serious?
At last year’s Halloween, Sasha unleashed this fantastic costume that sent the Internet abuzz with her sexy take on the ever-popular Batman villain, The Joker. She already has the colorful hair down, so it was just a matter of putting together the details, which she did quite nicely.
Notice the face makeup is on the classic side, feeling more of a Jack Nicholson vibe with this look, and the neon green bows are a great touch. The previous year, she went as a glamorous zombie, and with Halloween just around the corner, what will she be this year? Going as Bayley would be an appropriate and amusing choice for a costume.
11 Social Media
Between wrestling shows and doing tons of media appearances, you would think she would never have time to be online, but you would be so wrong. Between Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, Sasha Banks finds plenty of time to interact with fans, and shares a lot of their fan art and gifs of her.
It’s probably a big reason why she is so loved in arenas around the country: Sasha keeps up with her fans, and that’s not only smart, but really awesome. She posts tons of selfies, many times looking more laid back, without all the “Boss” gear on. Note the Breaking Bad phone cover; seriously, how can you not love her?!
9 Celebrity Family Member
You read that right: Sasha is a first cousin of Snoop Dogg, who has been a big influence on Sasha’s wrestling career, starting with taking her to WWE events in her younger days. After that, Sasha became even more hooked on becoming a wrestler, so when it was time, she started training to achieve her dream.
Once she made it to NXT, she initially was a pretty vanilla character, without much depth or purpose. Through frustration and some advice from other wrestlers, she wrote out a list of characters with detailed backgrounds, one of which was based off of Snoop Dogg himself. Thanks to Snoop’s swagger and calling himself “The Boss”, Sasha adapted that style to her own, and the rest is history.
8 Early Days: Chaotic Wrestling
Not exactly sure what Sasha is referring to in the picture, maybe it’s best to just assume it means her opponent was “this close” to defeating her? Side-note, it’s not him, but that kind of looks like a long haired Ryback in the background.
From 2010 to 2012, Sasha spent a lot of her time in Chaotic Wrestling, traveling through much of the Northeast. During her time there, she was able to learn the ropes of pro wrestling, eventually winning the women’s title, and holding it for 260 days, until she was signed by the WWE. Also, notice the yellow, purple, and black color scheme, which was her first style of ring gear, to which she paid tribute to at NXT TakeOver: Respect.
6 Fun In The Sun
When summer came around, the WWE put out a photo gallery of their NXT women that included others like Lana, Paige and Bayley hanging out at a pool party. Needless to say, a ridiculous amount of pictures were taken for this shoot, and not surprisingly, Sasha had some of the best ones.
This one of her rising out of the pool is a great shot of her, without the usual “Boss” accessories, aside from the necklace. As one of WWE’s more photogenic talents, it’s pretty rare to find a bad picture of her.
5 Indy Work
The picture above is from 2012, when she was honing her craft in other indy promotions like New England Championship Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance. Back then, she rotated through a couple of ring names, initially known as Mercedes KV, she dropped the "KV" and was finally known as Miss Mercedes.
If for some reason you’re not a fan of her, maybe this fact will help change your view. Sasha has noted that she worked for free at times before joining the WWE, and will most likely stick with the them for life, because it’s not about the money, it’s about doing what she loves. For so many, wrestling is mostly about the money, so it’s nice to see someone who genuinely loves doing it.
4 Joins Up With NXT
As you can see, initially she had pretty basic ring attire, was super smiley, and really didn’t have much going character-wise compared to today. It was clear to see she was extremely pumped to be there, and would slowly work on her character, gaining all that sass and confidence as the months went on.
Initially, she went up against people like Paige, Summer Rae, Audrey Marie, and Alicia Fox, winning and losing along the way. She even participated in the tournament to determine the first NXT Women’s Champion, but lost in the first round against Summer Rae. In 2013, “The Boss” debuted as she formed the BFF’s (Beautiful, Fierce Females) alongside Summer Rae and together they rose up the division.
3 Legit Boss
Sasha eventually set her sights on the Women’s title and although she fought valiantly, she was stopped on multiple occasions by Natalya, Bayley, and mainly the Women’s champion herself, Charlotte. Sasha went against Charlotte on three different occasions, losing all three before finally defeating the champion at NXT TakeOver: Rival in a Fatal Four-Way match that also included Bayley and Becky Lynch.
In the coming months, Sasha’s popularity grew immensely, as she continued to win over opponents like Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, and Charlotte. She was not only a "Legit Boss”, but a legit champion, who was not going to drop the title anytime soon.
When the end of 2015 hits, and you start seeing “Best of 2015” lists come out, if this match isn’t on it, just stop reading, and find someone who knows what they’re talking about. This match had everything you want to see in pro wrestling: high spots, drama, and great story telling, which included the good gal overcoming evil.
Bayley is very much a fan favorite, like Ricky Steamboat babyface level, and Sasha’s “I don’t give a f***” attitude is the perfect contrast to Bayley’s lovable gimmick. The crowd of over 15,000 was totally into this match, and wanted Bayley so desperately to win; it’s a credit to Sasha to get such a reaction for another wrestler.
In the end, Bayley came up victorious, ending Sasha’s 192 day reign as one of the most popular NXT champions ever. The picture above shows Becky Lynch and Charlotte coming out to congratulate both wrestlers after the match; this group is typically known as “The Four Horsewomen” thanks to their incredible wrestling talent.
1 The Future
Currently on WWE’s main roster, Sasha is on Team B.A.D. alongside Naomi and Tamina; together, they are one of the more cohesive stables in the WWE, although there are many fans that feel Sasha is a star in her own right, and doesn’t really need the other two to make an impact on the main roster. Honestly, they’re right; it’s only a matter of time before she breaks away, and becomes a dominate force in the woman’s division.
At only 23, Sasha’s passion and desire to be the best shines through every time she shows up on TV. For fans, it’s an exciting time, since she will no doubt lead the division on to bigger and better things (like say, main event a Pay-Per-View!), as long as she’s given the proper chance... right, Vince?
Sasha Banks is the future, and the future is looking "boss".