Sasha Banks Returns To WWE On Raw

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Tonight, after months of speculation and cryptic messages, she’s finally back. Sasha Banks has made her return.

She last appeared back at WrestleMania, where she and Bayley lost the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles to the IIconics in a four-way match. Long-time followers of the situation will know that Bayley and Sasha were intrinsic to the creation of the titles in the first place and building them up to be prestigious was important to them.

So it was thought to be a big disappointment for them when they dropped them so quickly after being crowned the first champs, and the original promises of the titles being defended on all brands – ie, NXT & NXT UK as well as on Raw and SmackDown – fell by the wayside. This even after Sasha and Bayley made a guest appearance on NXT to hype up a future title defense that ended up never happening. WWE undoubtedly hopes we’ve all forgotten this was ever advertised as a feature of the titles.

So, that very night it was suggested that Banks and Bayley were upset. And Sasha had basically walked out from the next night forward, missing the post-Mania Raw and not appearing ever since. It’s widely believed that she attempted to leave the WWE, though with contract situations these days that’s become extremely difficult. So she’s basically been in a holding pattern for a while.

The situation with those very tag titles ever since could not possibly have helped matters.

It always stuck out to me that, with her main complaint being the devaluing of the brand new championships, it was stark how much the situation with those titles plummeted almost immediately. The ensuing title reign of the IIconics was a true disaster for their prestige. It basically amounted to four straight months of absolute nothingness. The two appeared sporadically for a time, generally coming up only to have mocking squash matches and losing non-title bouts anytime they faced a name team, which rarely led to an actual title match.

Now that they’re on Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, two women they atleast seem more interested in featuring, they might end up in a better state. But those titles have been off to a terrible start, having basically been invisible for over half of their existence thus far. Their treatment of the division really gave a lot of credence to Sasha’s alleged reasoning for leaving.

Personally, I was really excited at the prospect of Sasha Banks in AEW. But her WWE contract has around two more years left on it so the odds of her making her leave anytime soon were always slim.

Either way, she’s back and with a vengeance.

Natalya was in the ring, nursing an injured arm after Becky Lynch took her down with the Dis-arm-her at SummerSlam. She was giving an emotional tribute to her late father when Sasha Banks shockingly made her return. She stepped into the ring, feigned sympathy… then proceeded to lay Nattie out. Hilariously she stripped away her renowned purple hair – in the form of a wig – and revealed new blue locks instead.

Sasha went on to viciously assault Natalya’s arm, until finally The Man had seen enough. Becky came out to try and make the save, and brawled with Sasha. But in the end, Sasha was too dangerous and overcame her as well! Leaving both Nattie and Becky laying, Sasha made her leave with a triumphant smile on her face.

So it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion then that we’ll be seeing her challenge Becky for the Raw Women’s title very soon. And that should be a barnstormer of a match, a hot one at the moment. It comes at a good time, Becky could really use something like this and obviously it’s a good way to come back if you’re Sasha.

I’m honestly of the opinion she still wants to leave and has merely accepted that trying to force it won’t work. She is likely intending on riding out the rest of her contract. That’s not to say I expect her to hold back in future performances or anything. It just wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s the long-term plan. She’s stuck with WWE for now so might as well make the most of it.

We’ve seen what can happen when you try to leave.

In today’s atmosphere, it’s pretty hard to quit WWE. Those contracts are pretty binding these days, turns out. And if you end up missing time due to these disputes, WWE can add as much extra time as they want to your contract just to keep you pinned down even longer, even if they don’t intend to do a single thing with you.

Poor Luke Harper. Still hasn’t been seen since a dark match on April 9th. I remember when he made his impassioned plea for a release. And all his peers publicly supported his decision and there was an uplifting vibe to it all.

It’s sad to look back on, honestly. Real sad. He was basically turned into an example of what can happen to you now if you request your release. He’s been treated like he’s expendable and yet, they refuse to even expend him.

Sasha Banks is a bigger name and more valuable in their eyes, so they were more patient with her. But if she kept pushing the issue this absolutely would’ve come to that as well. She may still end up having four more months tacked onto her deal should she refuse to re-sign later. Wouldn’t shock me at all.

At the end of the day, letting your contract expire is by far the best solution.

It’s what the man formerly known as Dean Ambrose did. And he’s become an instant sensation ever since the last day ticked off of his deal. If there are to be other success stories as far as stars making the jump goes, they’ll probably follow that same template.

In the meantime, you can only do yourself good by being as big a star in WWE as possible. Let’s see where the next chapter takes us.

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