WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks has opened up about her four-month hiatus from WWE on the latest episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions.
Following Wrestlemania 35, Banks canceled a talk show appearance at the last minute, fueling rumors that she was frustrated with WWE and wanted out of the company. Banks eventually returned the night after SummerSlam.
Due to personal reasons, I had to pull out of my appearance today on @WendyWilliams . Sorry to everyone who was looking forward to it. Hopefully the opportunity will be there again later. #IfYouOnlyKnew
She first-spoke about the events that led up to her absence during WWE Chronicle, revealing she underwent therapy when she was at her lowest emotionally.
During the Broken Skull Sessions episode, Banks spoke more about her hiatus, revealing depression played a major part in wanting to take a break from WWE, despite Vince McMahon not being on board with her decision.
“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 stated.
“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]”
This led to Banks no longer wanting to perform, requesting a leave from Vince McMahon, who denied her request. He did offer her 30 days to think about her decision, which ultimately led to a four-month break from WWE.
“I asked to leave and Vince was like, ‘no,’” Banks said. “He said no. He said I’m gonna give you 30 days to think about it. And I took more than 30 days.”