MANILA, Philippines – How do you make it big in the sports entertainment juggernaut that is the WWE? Just ask The Boss.
Sasha Banks has been a part of a lot of firsts in the WWE since her debut with the NXT brand almost 5 years ago. She competed in the first women's Iron Man Match (versus Bayley) and the first women's Hell in a Cell Match (against Charlotte Flair).
These bouts were the main events of NXT TakeOver: Respect in 2015 and WWE Hell in a Cell in 2016, respectively, marking the first time women headlined an NXT show and a WWE pay-per-view. Sasha and Charlotte also main-evented a WWE RAW episode in October 2016, the first in 12 years.
Sasha Banks is not stopping there. She plans to make some more history.
As the WWE crew heads to Singapore on Wednesday, June 28, Rappler cashed in on an opportunity to ask the 3-time Women's Champion, who will be in action at the Lion City, some questions.
Which women (and wrestlers) from NXT do you think should be the next ones to be called up? And what should they do to stand out on the main roster?
Sasha Banks: I think the next woman that should be called up should be Peyton Royce – I think she's an incredible wrestler, she has a heart of gold, and she trains really, really hard. I also love Billie Kay, and I think they're doing a great job right now in NXT, being the iconic duo.
They kinda remind me of the BFFs: Charlotte, myself, and Summer Rae. They're very entertaining, and I think if they just keep doing what they're doing, and keep showing that they want to be the best. The possibilities for them on the main roster are endless.
Who else do I wanna see? Does it have to be a woman? I guess I can choose anyone, right?
Bobby Roode. I just watch that guy, and that guy looks like a star. He's incredible. I've been to NXT TakeOver and saw his entrance live, and I'm just like, wow, this guy's amazing. He'll do glorious things on the main roster. I hope he gets called up very soon.
The RAW Women's Title has changed hands between you and Charlotte in 2016. What was your favorite match in that series?
Sasha Banks: Well, I have two of them. Of course, I think the first time I won it [in October 2016 after the title became exclusive to RAW], because it was so unexpected for me. I remember Triple H telling me, and I was like, "Wait, what?" So that was in Los Angeles, and that was the first time I got to main event RAW. So that was very incredible.
And I really like the, what's it called? No DQ... whatever they called it, Last Woman Standing? [It was a Falls Count Anywhere Match.] That was insane, just beating Charlotte with the kendo stick was probably one of my favorite moments in wrestling, because she deserved it. (Laughs.)
What is next on your to-do list?
Sasha Banks: I've said this many times: I would love to main event a WrestleMania. I would love to be the first-ever woman Money in the "Banks" match [winner]. Get it, Banks, my last name? And just, you know, keep on breaking down these doors, and showing that we can do it just like the men every single week.
Side note: Unfortunately, she is not on Smackdown Live, which will have the first-ever Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WWE Money in the Bank on Sunday night, June 18, airing Monday morning, June 19 in the Philippines. Below are her thoughts on the historic match.
You were among the WWE Superstars who visited the Philippines last September. How was your experience?
I didn't really get to have time to explore or see [other places], so I hope I get to do it this year, and I can't wait to come back! – Rappler.com
WWE Live will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 28, 2017. Sasha Banks is set to team up with Bayley and NXT Women's Champion Asuka to take on Alexa Bliss, Emma, and Nia Jax.
Also scheduled for the event are Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Intercontinental Champion The Miz (w/ Maryse), Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Karl Anderson (w/ Luke Gallows), Chris Jericho, Hideo Itami, RAW Tag Team Champions Cesaro and Sheamus, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, and more! More details at WWE.com.
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.