After a four-month absence from WWE programming and various rumors swirling around her purported issues with the company’s creative team, Sasha Banks made her big return on this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw, rocking a new hair color and debuting a new, villainous character as she attacked two of the red brand’s top female stars.
As reported by Newsweek and shown on WWE’s Twitter account, Banks’ return took place in the middle of a promo from Natalya, who announced to the live audience in Toronto that she suffered a shoulder injury during the previous night’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, where she lost in a title match to Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Natalya then became even more emotional as she talked about her late father, WWE Hall of Famer Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, and how it’s been one year since his tragic passing.
At that point, Banks’ ring theme played as she made her way to the ring, hugged a child in the audience, and ostensibly tried to comfort Natalya. As her ring music faded, Banks attacked Natalya and took off her purple wig — revealing that she had dyed her hair blue — then continued beating down on the WWE veteran until Lynch came out for the save. However, the reigning Raw Women’s Champion ultimately found herself on the receiving end of multiple chair shots from Banks toward the end of the segment.
— WWE (@WWE) August 13, 2019
Banks’ return came about four months after her last appearance at WrestleMania 35, where she and Bayley lost their Women’s Tag Team Championships to The IIconics. Per Newsweek, Banks reportedly threatened to quit WWE when she was told of the aforementioned booking decision, as she and Bayley were supposedly under the impression that WWE would give them a long reign as the women’s tag team division’s inaugural champions.
While Banks spent the next few months away from WWE as the company gave her some time to “cool down,” The IIconics hardly got to defend their titles on television, ultimately losing the belts to Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on the Monday Night Raw episode before SummerSlam.
Despite how Sasha Banks’ heel turn saw her attack two popular female wrestlers, including one (Natalya) who was paying tribute to her father in her native Canada, it appears that her return has been very well-received by the WWE Universe. Aside from the positive crowd response at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, Twitter fans have also reacted very positively so far to Banks’ return and character change, as noted by Comic Book.