Last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw saw Sasha Banks, who recently returned to television after four months away from the company, blend elements of real-life and storyline drama as she cut a blistering promo that revealed the supposed reasons why she took a long sabbatical right after WrestleMania 35 in April.
As recapped by Cageside Seats, Banks took to the ring for the introductory promo on this week’s Raw, where she started out by referencing the rumors that had swirled regarding her hiatus from WWE. While these real-life references included those pertaining to past reports that she and former tag team partner Bayley allegedly threw a tantrum at WrestleMania 35, Banks soon began inserting kayfabe elements into her spiel and told fans that she “took her ball” and “went home” for different reasons than what they may have heard or read about.
Citing the storyline reasons for her hiatus, Banks claimed that she and Bayley were booked in a tag team match that she didn’t care about, as the duo was forced to defend belts that didn’t mean much compared to the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships Becky Lynch won in the WrestleMania main event against Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair. She then said that she went on multiple vacations with her WrestleMania paycheck before stressing that it wasn’t as big as the one Lynch received.
Banks then discussed what was on her mind when she returned to Monday Night Raw two weeks ago, as she blamed Natalya – who was then in the middle of an emotional in-ring promo – for preventing her from making a “perfect moment.” After proclaiming herself as the “center of attention” now that she’s back in WWE after her four-month break, the former four-time Raw Women’s Champion was attacked by Natalya, with both women brawling it out until several referees and backstage workers ran in to break things up.
Later that night, Banks and Natalya faced off in the ring for their previously scheduled match, which Banks won via her Bank Statement finisher. As part of her new vicious heel persona, she locked Natalya in that same submission hold for a second time following the match.
While Banks’ opening promo on Monday Night Raw was a “worked shoot” — a scripted promo with elements of real-life mixed in — it didn’t come long after it wasn’t even sure whether the “Legit Boss” would ever be appearing on WWE television again.
Earlier this month, Bleacher Report noted that there were some whispers suggesting that Banks was planning to leave WWE for good during her hiatus, given her apparently legitimate frustration over how she and Bayley were booked to lose the Women’s Tag Team Championships to The IIconics at WrestleMania 35. As further explained, Banks was allegedly under the impression that her team would be given a lengthy title reign, so as to help give the new championships some prestige.