Since being hired in June as executive director of Monday Night Raw, on top of his on-air role as Brock Lesnar’s manager, Paul Heyman has been credited for a lot of positive changes on the red brand’s programming. Aside from advocating for the push of certain wrestlers, reports have also suggested that Heyman was behind a number of angles and storylines in recent weeks. It also appears that the wrestling industry veteran was the man behind Sasha Banks’ worked-shoot promo that kicked off this week’s episode of Raw.
As cited by WrestlingNews.co, Wade Keller of Pro Wrestling Torch said on the Tuesday episode of his podcast that per his sources, Heyman wrote Banks’ recent promo and “has been very involved in Sasha’s presentation” since her return earlier this month. Following a four-month layoff, Banks appeared on the August 12 episode of Monday Night Raw and became a villainous character for the first time since early 2016, cementing her heel turn by attacking Natalya in the middle of her in-ring promo, per Bleacher Report.
According to The Inquisitr‘s recap of Sasha Banks’ worked-shoot promo on Raw, the former women’s champion brought up the rumors that had swirled around her immediately after she went on hiatus in April – these included references to the various reports claiming she threw a tantrum backstage at WrestleMania 35. However, instead of bringing up how these reports alleged that Banks was unhappy with how WWE was booking her, she cited storyline-related reasons for her hiatus, complaining about how Becky Lynch was given a main-event match against Ronda Rousey and how she earned a much bigger WrestleMania paycheck.
Last month, Bleacher Report noted that Heyman’s influence on Monday Night Raw programming had been felt in numerous other ways since he took over as the brand’s executive director. These included the physically intense match between Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley on the July 1 episode of Raw, as well as Maria Kanellis’ brief reign as 24/7 Champion, where it was emphasized that she was WWE’s first-ever pregnant titleholder in the promotion’s history.
Paul Heyman Set To Be 'Instrumental' For Sasha Banks https://t.co/0xvEy48ppy
— PWStream (@PWStream) August 27, 2019
As observed by WrestlingNews.co, WWE’s apparent decision to give Sasha Banks a good push upon her return is an “interesting” one, as company chairman Vince McMahon has typically shied away from pushing wrestlers who had temporarily walked out due to similar creative frustrations. The publication noted that in most cases, WWE would punish wrestlers for these “unprofessional” walkouts and avoid booking them in main-event matches for a certain period of time.
As it seems, Banks looks like one of the exceptions to the above tradition, as WWE appears to be positioning her for a feud with Lynch, who has reigned as Raw Women’s Champion since her victory over Rousey and Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 35. It’s not clear whether she will end up as a five-time Raw Women’s Champion when all is said and done, but things do seem to be looking up for the “Legit Boss,” thanks to Paul Heyman’s apparent involvement in making her return to the red brand feel special.