WWE Superstar Sasha Banks On Style, Evolution, And Living Her Dreams

From her time as NXT Women’s Champion to a competitor in the first women’s Hell in a Cell match to one half of the first Women’s Tag Team Champions, Sasha Banks has been one of WWE‘s most notable names over the past several years. This Sunday, she’ll be the captain of Team Smackdown in the women’s three-way Survivor Series elimination match, but before that, the Boss stopped at a Champs Sports store in Chicago to film an episode of the web series Sneaker Watch.

Through Champs Sports, With Spandex recently spoke to Banks about her style, her time training in Japan, whether she’d go back to NXT, and more. That conversation is below and has been edited for length and clarity.

With Spandex: So, you’re doing this collaboration with Champs Sports. How did that come about?

Sasha Banks: It came about, maybe a couple years ago I started working with Champs Sports. You know, I love shoes. Who doesn’t? All girls should. All guys should. I have a huge collection that’s bigger than my closet. Actually, recently I got rid of ten shoes and I was like, “Man, that was a waste of money.” But Champs Sports has been amazing. I love getting new shoes. I love checking out what’s out, what’s new, what’s poppin’, and what’s better, you know, than rocking the Legit Boss shoes from the Legit Boss Sasha Banks?

You kind of changed up your style on WWE TV recently, and I’m wondering what was the process behind changing up your look?

Well, the process to me was getting a whole new contract and getting a lot more money. I’m making millions. I have my own stylist. I have my own jet. I get to bring my dog every week. And, you know, I say if you’re going to be a legit boss, you have to go all out. I wanted to change because I feel like change is always good. You can’t be living in the past. You can’t be basic. You have to grow…

For me, you know, when I wanted to come back after having my amazing break and finding myself and realizing who I really want to be within this company, I lost the purple hair, I got blue hair, you know, thanks to Vince – thank you, Vince, so much for all the millions. You know, I got a better wardrobe, I got stylists, I got my hair lady flying with me every since week, so I’m looking flyer than fly, looking like the best WWE Superstar in the whole company and, you know, that’s what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the face of the company and I feel like if you want to walk the walk you’ve got to talk the talk, you’ve got to look the look, and that’s what I’m doing right now. Taking over.

Does Sasha Banks have any style inspirations?

I mean, I feel like I’m an inspiration to the world. I feel like everything I wear is very flash, very blingy. I want to make sure when I walk out there that all eyes on are me. So I like looking at Beyonce; she’s an inspiration because I do say I am the Beyonce of wrestling. Rihanna, of course, Floyd Mayweather, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, you know, all the major people in Hollywood, that’s what Sasha Banks is. I’m major, you know?

Yeah. And speaking of your break, I saw you went and trained with Meiko Satomura at her Sendai Girls school in Japan.

I sure did.

What was that experience like?

It was incredible. That was always one of my biggest dreams since I was ten years old to go to Japan and to learn. I always wanted to wrestle there. So, I said I’m going to accomplish every single dream that I ever wrote in my notebook since I was ten years old and that was one of my goals and I wanted to make that happen and I learned so much.

I love Japan. I would go back in a heartbeat. I would love to wrestle Satomura. I think she’s incredible and an incredible teacher. She has a great school and I think about Japan all the time because I had such an amazing experience. I love the culture and I just love training like that. I love that style and, you know, you see now with my matches I’ve definitely brought some of that style with the WWE style and adding some new moves to my assets.

And how is that training style different than what you had been doing before?

I mean, training with WWE, we have all the best coaches in the world and they come from all over the world, but, you know, WWE has a certain style, and I wanted to make sure when I came back, I came back better than ever. I went to Japan, I went to Mexico. For me, I feel like Japanese wrestling, just strong style, is very in there, like ground and pound, and it was really incredible. I got to learn from her and Dick Togo and I hope one day that I’m able to go back.

You have Survivor Series coming up on Sunday, and before Survivor Series we’ve seen a lot of shows invading other shows, especially NXT and the other shows. If you were to go back to NXT for a match or two, is there anyone you’d really like to wrestle there?

To be honest, no, because I don’t think Full Sail could pay me enough to go back to NXT. I, like, make way too much money to go there. I can’t go back to a college in front of three hundred people, are you kidding me? I only wrestle in front of thousands, millions watching at home. No, I’m not basic, I would never go back to NXT.

When you joined WWE, a match like this [at Survivor Series] or the women’s War Games match the night before, I don’t think people would have imagined happening in the company. Looking back at what’s happening with the women’s divisions, what do you think have been the biggest changes in the role of women in WWE?

Well, I think just in the past five years you can see how much women’s wrestling has taken over WWE. Before we weren’t given as much screen time or match time and our storylines were not as important and now, this past year, the women got to main event WrestleMania, and it’s been so incredible for me to legit live my dream every single day.

I wanted to come in to WWE and change the perspective of what women can be here and, you know, I’m so lucky I had that incredible match with Bayley… to having the first women’s main event of a pay-per-view and getting to main event Raw and Smackdown and women getting to do Money in the Bank and Hell in a Cell and so many First Time Evers where we’ve really kind of accomplished it all and I feel like the next step for the women is, you know, that’s it. Like, we don’t have to break any more doors down, we don’t have to climb any more ladders, we’re just as equal the men…

I feel like the women are the top draw, the most talked about, you know, we are the main event because we show that every single week that we can do it better than the guys, and I truly believe that we do that. We draw the ratings, we make that money, we make those checks, we’re on the posters, and we’re legit taking over.

I think it’s so beautiful to see how many little girls come to the shows now and they’re all dressed up and they’re coming to the shows with their fathers and their getting their autographs signed and saying they want to be wrestlers because of what we do and it’s been nothing but a dream come true and I’m so happy to see that. I love that women are not only taking over WWE, but they’re legit taking over the world right now.

Is there like a moment in your WWE career that you felt like was really game-changing?

For me, it would definitely have to be NXT Brooklyn. I knew how important that match was and that was supposed to be my last match in NXT. I luckily got to have one more, but I knew I wanted to make a statement, to put my name in the history books, and I went out there with a game plan of wanting to steal the show and wanting people to remember my name forever and wanting to change the game for women’s wrestling and, you know, that match is still talked about to this day. I still get tweets about it every single day, at every autograph signing someone comes up to me and says, “Hey, because of that match I got back into wrestling” or “Because of that match my daughter wants to be a wrestler…” so I feel like that match for me is really what put Sasha Banks on the map and really just cemented my name in history.

You and your opponent in that match, Bayley, were tag champions together for a little bit. Do you think we could see you guys back in the tag division anytime in the future?

I mean, it’s all up to the universe. I’m very happy where I’m at now. I’m very happy that I was the first-ever women’s tag team champions and, you know, got to help pave the way to even bringing those titles into the picture. You know, whatever’s going to make me the most money is what I want to do. I’m making tons right now, so it doesn’t matter if I have championships or not. I’m still the face of the company. I’m still number one. I’m still the best.

So if me and Bayley want to go after those tag team championships, we will, we can, we’ll do it any time, but right now we’re doing great. I’m the captain of Team Smackdown so I don’t need to worry about that right now.

Do you think that there is going to be another Evolution event in the future, or do you think that there should be in the future?

I definitely think that there should be, do I know if there’s gonna be, I have no idea. You guys should tweet Triple H, Vince, you know. I think when we got to do it last year, that was such an incredible moment of all these women coming together and of all the accomplishments throughout the whole year. I loved it and I hope we see an Evolution 2 sooner rather than later.