Sasha Banks Opens Up About Requesting Her WWE Release In 2019

During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani Meets, former WWE Women's Champion Sasha Banks opened up about the hiatus she took from WWE after WrestleMania 35.

Sasha admits that her passion for competing in the ring was dwindling at the time. And since the fans weren't influencing her like they once were, she knew it was time to step away.

"It was at that WrestleMania when I was just like, 'Woah, I'm not nervous. I don't feel anything and this is Wrestle – freaking – Mania. I couldn't believe it! The biggest fangirl that wanted this her entire life didn't feel anything at the biggest show ever? I mean, this is every wrestler's dream to be here, and at the very moment, I knew that I needed to take a break. And I was like, alright, I've got to go find myself and I did, and it's the best decision I ever made and I'm so thankful that I did."

Sasha Banks has been very vocal about her lifelong adoration for pro wrestling in past interviews. But having a life that was consumed entirely by the sport is something Banks needed to reevaluate.

"Wrestling has been the only thing I have ever known; I never had a plan B, C, or D, it's just always been wrestling, wrestling, wrestling. So when I realized I didn't know anything else but it, it kind of scared me for a second. And I just had to kind of figure out deep within, like, what do you like on a Sunday if you didn't have wrestling? What if you didn't have TV? What if there's no cable? Just, what if? Can't you just figure it out one time, for one day?

"And I'm like, 'Woah, okay, actually I can because I can take a break to figure out who I am.'"

"The Blueprint of WWE" confirmed that reports of her requesting her release were definitely true. However, Vince McMahon denied her request and implored her to take as much time as she needed until she felt ready to return.

"I felt like I wasn't giving my highest good. So if I'm not giving my highest good, if I'm not being the best, if I'm not being used as the best, then I've got to go find that. I'm always that performer wanting to be #1 and I felt in my heart that I just wasn't feeling good. I wasn't feeling good, so I felt like I did all that I could and I needed that break, I needed that release. And then Vince told me no and that was a great decision on both ends because he knew what he saw. He's so smart, he's so kind, he's so gentle. He actually knew what I needed which was time. At the end of the point, all of use just need a little bit of time.

Though some people may be frustrated at their boss for denying their request for release, Sasha says it was ultimately a blessing in disguise.

"Initially, no [I wasn't upset at him] because I just needed time. I have so much respect for him, if he's like, 'Okay, if you need time? I'll give you time.' I just needed time."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Ariel Helwani Meets with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.