WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks is Steve Austin’s latest guest on the Broken Skull Sessions. In the interview, Banks discusses last year’s four-month hiatus from WWE.
“At Elimination Chamber, I know how important that match was for Bayley, but at that time I still was slowly [going down] and not happy,” Banks recalled.
Austin asked Banks what was happening during that time to cause the downward spiral.
“Depression,” Banks began. “Depression was taking over. My mind was taking over. My thoughts were taking over. This place was being bigger than me. And I really, really lost myself because for a good seven years, I didn’t even hear my real name. I didn’t hear Mercedes anymore. All I heard was Sasha Banks, and traveling on the road, we only get one to two days off.
“So, I’m home, not even seeing what my real hair looks like. All I see if purple hair every single day. There were just so many things that were just — I let it control me. I let it take it and be like, ‘This is too much’ instead of being like, ‘You know what? Everything’s good. Breathe. Everything’s fine.’ [Laughs]”
Ultimately this led to Banks needing to take a break from the business before she completely lost who she was.
“I couldn’t even look at myself,” Banks said. “I didn’t even know who the hell I was. How I was going into work, how angry I was going in, how sad I was. I was not the person that I dreamt to be.
“It hit the fan and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose myself. So I said, ‘You know what? I got to take a step away and find myself again and I gotta be brave about that.’ And that was probably one of the hardest things I had to do — ask to leave the WWE.”
Banks revealed when she asked for a break, she spoke with Vince McMahon and he initially denied that request, offering her to think it over for 30 days.
“I asked to leave and Vince was like, ‘no,'” Banks laughed. “He said no. He said I’m gonna give you 30 days to think about it. And I took more than 30 days.”
Banks’ appearance on Steve Austin’s Broken Skulls Session is now on-demand on the WWE Network. It will also stream after tonight’s Elimination Chamber PPV.
You can see her full comments in the video below.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE and give an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.