Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Release Date: August 31, 2017
Guest: Sasha Banks
Recap By: Matthew Wilkinson
- Sasha Banks hasn’t enjoyed her short title runs
- Sasha hates being bugged at the airport
- Sasha wasn’t happy missing the Mae Young Classic for a PR tour
- Sasha wants to be considered the greatest women’s champion of all time
- Sam and Mike don’t like the way Sasha has been booked as of late
- Sam thinks the Sexy Starr incident was irresponsible
Sam Roberts sets up a preview for the interview, which is with Sasha this week. He said the things they discussed (prior to SummerSlam) ring true after what has transpired this week on Raw.
Sasha Banks Interview
Sam welcomes Sasha to the stage and she enters to a great reception from the audience.
He asks if that reaction ever becomes normal. She said it doesn’t and now ‘Sasha Banks’ has taken over her life with her mom even calling her that. She thinks Sasha Banks is a star name and said both her and FCW helped create the name for her. Sasha admitted that her mom hated it originally because she Googled and found a porn star with the same.
Originally, she felt her name would always be Mercedes and said that the bookers told her to change it due to Mercedes Martinez, who is currently in the Mae Young Classic.
Adjusting to the main roster
Sam said he feels that the Sasha Banks we saw in NXT hasn’t been seen in WWE yet with the heel-like character. She said she does want to revisit that character.
Sasha said her character was confusing because she was thrown into Team BAD straight away, even though The Boss would want to be the champion.
She said she was very nervous because the women were getting so much time in NXT but they weren’t doing that on the main roster, but she knew that she would have to work hard.
Sasha believes because of her NXT Brooklyn match the fans had too much respect for her, which turned the character into a babyface as the fans weren’t booing her anymore.
Sam admitted that it is hard to boo her because they see the real her crying at being on the building and how much she loves the business.
Sam wonders what the original plan was for her at SummerSlam prior to the Bayley injury. Sasha said she thought there would be a longer period of work with Alexa Bliss after Great Balls of Fire and her Raw Talk promo.
Sasha wanted to have more promo time the next day on Raw but was instead thrown into a tag match for two weeks (which she sounded frustrated about). She thought that it would be her against Alexa Bliss for SummerSlam anyway.
When discussing injuries, Sasha revealed she never had a legitimate back injury and said the worst pain comes from the travel on planes and cars.
Hell in a Cell
They then discussed the Hell in a Cell match between Sasha and Charlotte. She said they only found out during the Mick Foley promo. There was no prior warning or discussion.
She said she really wanted to be in a Money in the Bank match but SmackDown got that. Her goal is to main event house shows, as that has never happened for females before.
Sam asked what her thoughts were on James Ellsworth helping Carmella win the briefcase. Sasha admitted it was confusing, especially since Carmella won it the week after without help.
Sasha said she wishes that there was more planning, and she knew where feuds were going so she could focus and prepare for things more. But she thinks it is sometimes a good thing because it prepares them to think of anything.
Sasha Banks Booking
Sam brought up how Sasha has been booked like a rollercoaster, up one minute and then doing nothing the next. Sasha said she is a three-time Women’s Champion within just a year, which she thinks is a lot, but she is also a three-time two-week holder of the belt. She said that took her confidence away a lot.
Sasha wants to prove that she can be a champion for more than two weeks so she can go down as the greatest Women’s Champion of all time, as she is already going down as the greatest women’s wrestler.
Mae Young Classic
Sam asks whether Sasha sees The Mae Young Classic as a good thing or not, as it is good for women’s wrestling but it forces her to step up a level. She feels it is both.
Sasha revealed she was sent on an Australia PR tour when it was taped and had to get Bayley to FaceTime her to simply watch a match, which she couldn’t believe due to the role she played in the Women’s Revolution.
He asked about being a role model with Barbie dolls now being produced of her. Sasha said it is unbelievable. She told a story about a little girl who dressed as her at Comic Con and that means the world to her. She wants to protect that image as it is so important.
Sam brought up Sasha hating being bothered at the airport. She agreed that she does hate it because she thinks it is stalking when they turn up. She said she doesn’t tell people that information as fans have 100 items for her to sign and then they sell them on Ebay.
She told a story about when she got concussed and landed in the airport and fans were waiting as they had rung the airport about her.
Sasha claimed she is happy about the pictures of her looking disgruntled at the airport. She wants fans to know how she feels, but said she is more than happy to do it at arenas.
She has heard that all the women have killed it during the Mae Young Classic and she can’t wait to see it. She hopes it leads to some people getting signed.
The first question was regarding the Hell in a Cell and if there were any banned spots. She said the only one was putting Charlotte through the table. Sasha wanted to hit the double knees instead of what actually happened.
Another question was about SmackDown. Sasha said she is a huge fan as it is two hours long and it is easy to follow, plus A.J. Styles is her favorite. She said it is pretty relaxed backstage at SmackDown and she would be happy with a draft one day.
Besides Bayley, if Sasha had to pick a tag team partner she would choose Mickie James. Sam asked if the women should have their own show. Sasha admitted she likes them all being split so everyone can be used.
She was then asked about a women’s Royal Rumble match. Sasha said it is an incredible idea and would like to see other old women’s wrestlers come back.
Another dream match was asked whether she wants to see the Four Horsewomen of WWE against the four of MMA. Sasha said it’s cool, but they are the Four Horsewomen and they are simply fans. If they want to face them, they need to get contracts and get to NXT and earn it.
Moving on to NXT, Sasha stated she doesn’t think the women’s division has taken off the way she would have liked it and wants to see some of the talented women be used more.
Sasha was asked about the biggest nerves she has had prior to a match. She thinks it was her first TakeOver match against Charlotte. It was different from the Brooklyn match, which Sasha said was the most relaxed she has ever been.
This wrapped up the fan Q&A and the interview segment for this week.
End of Interview
Sam said he loves doing the live events mainly for the reactions of the crowds that attend. He took this time to promote his next live show at the Now Here This Podcast Festival.
Sam introduces this week’s guest for the State of Wrestling; Mike Eagle. He said he didn’t know he was originally a wrestling fan until he saw him popping up at shows, not to perform but just to watch as a fan. He was in town to promote his new album so Sam asked him to come on to share his opinions.
State of Wrestling
Sam asks Mike Eagle if he has tried to use music to break into wrestling somehow. He said he hasn’t, but he has a new song about no-selling both in wrestling and in real life which is a full nod to wrestling.
They then moved the conversation on to post SummerSlam. Mike said he was very underwhelmed with the show, especially after watching NXT TakeOver. Mike said that with the long shows you can’t tell what is filler and what isn’t, as you leave with a haze over you and everything is forgotten other than the main event.
Sam said he still loves Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as a tag team. Mike agreed and said they’ve all had rocky character development since the Shield broke up.
Mike said he thinks WWE skips chapters now and uses the Nia Jax turn on Alexa Bliss as an example. There should have been weeks worth of teases. Sam said he thinks WWE takes for granted that everyone has seen they are best friends on Instagram.
Mike went on to add that they are also rushing big matches with No Mercy being stacked due to the two-blockbuster main event matches. Sam agrees they have been made too quickly.
Sam asked about the theory that John Cena and Roman Reigns’ promo this week were all scripted. Mike doesn’t buy into it and said he believes they were shooting. He added that it reminded him of the Cena vs Rock promos and thinks Reigns is struggling to work out what he can and can’t get away with.
Sam believes Roman needs a moment where he can stump Cena, just like John did when he called out The Rock for having a script on his arm. Mike came to Roman’s defense by saying it is hard for the newer guys due to them having their promos bullet pointed, and that Roman hasn’t had any practice in just shooting like that.
Sam asked what Mike felt about Sasha Banks, especially considering this week’s interview and what she said about the flip-flop title runs. Mike doesn’t know what he is supposed to think about her as a performer when WWE is telling you she has never had a title run that lasts. It presents her as a loser.
Sam said this booking also happened with Bayley on the main roster with the storyline of her not being able to get hardcore, which proved to be true in the match itself.
He then brought up how strong No Mercy is already looking and Mike questioned whether Vince McMahon thinks the world is going to end. Sam jokingly suggested that he is instead seeing SmackDown as competition and wants to crush them by putting on a show they can’t match.
Sam moves the conversation on to SmackDown Live and the number one contender’s match that is set for next week. Mike isn’t excited about that. He doesn’t think Randy Orton should be anywhere near the Championship.
Sam said he doesn’t mind Jinder Mahal as champion because the anti-American character has more culture than it would have done several years ago. He does still think the fact that Jinder hasn’t beaten anybody clean has made him lose a little faith.
Mike said he is very interested in what happens after Jinder drops the title because he has had a significant run with the belt and can’t drop back to being a jobber after this.
They then discussed the return of Shelton Benjamin. Sam said he is super happy that he has come back. He added that one of his favorite matches ever is Shelton vs Triple H on Raw.
Mike brings up how after the brand split SmackDown was the main show and it was being booked so well, but he thinks that is now over. Sam suggests that is because Raw is now stacked with talent and the blue brand can’t compete.
Mike gives Luke Harper as an example of someone who was being booked well and progressing but now he just isn’t used in at all.
Sam asks whether Mike thinks that the Young Bucks will go to WWE. He thinks they will but doesn’t want them to wait too long because The Bucks are so over it is now the perfect time.
Rosemary/Sexy Star incident
Sam brought up the recent GFW situation and points out that in order for the show to go on they must be safe within the ring, no matter what issues are happening. He points out HBK and Bret Hart and how they hated each other but didn’t hurt the other.
This brings an end to the State of Wrestling. Mike plugs his new album and social media and this wraps up the podcast for the week.
This week’s podcast was an excellent episode that featured a very interesting interview with Sasha Banks, which saw her be very real and honest. Sasha had plenty to say about her booking and the frustrations she has had. The interview was only held back because of the fan Q&A, as a full-length interview with Sam would have been fantastic. The State of Wrestling was equally as good this week and Sam’s guest Mike Eagle was terrific, adding great opinions and insight that added a new dynamic. He is someone who should be on again.
Subjects Covered (with timestamps)
00:00- Sponsor Ads
01:03- Show Introduction
04:12-Sasha Banks Interview
08:02-Adjusting to the main roster
15:34-Hell in a Cell
19:05-Sasha Banks’ Booking
21:21: Mae Young Classic
48:00-End of Interview
54:50-State of Wrestling
About the author
Matthew Wilkinson is from Bradford, England. He’s been a fan since the late ’90s with the Attitude Era and was then heavily invested again through the rise of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. He can be found on Twitter at @MC_Wilkinson1
For more, check out last week’s recap of the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with Seth Rollins.