Sasha Banks needed to find Mercedes again.
On the latest episode of Broken Skull Sessions with Steve Austin, Banks talked about her extended absence from WWE last year. Austin asked what was happening with her personally, and she said it was depression. Banks talked about feeling like she only knew “Sasha Banks” now and said she kept trying to work through things before it became too much.
“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 [building]. I let it control me. I let it take [control] and be like, ‘This is too much’ instead of being like, ‘You know what? Everything’s good. Breathe. Everything’s fine.’”
Austin asked if that explained the near five-month absence from WWE and Banks confirmed it did.
“I had a—I was looking in the mirror, I was looking at my eyes and I lost all the light. I couldn’t even look at myself. I didn’t even know who the hell I was, how I was going into work, how angry I was going in, how sad I was. I was not the person that I dreamt to be.
Austin asked to clarify if it was business-related or burnout or fatigue, and Banks said it was “everything.”
“It hit the fan and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose myself. So I said, ‘You know what? I got to take a step away and find myself again and I gotta be brave about that.’ And that was probably one of the hardest things I had to do, was to ask to leave the WWE.”
Banks clarified that she asked to leave the company and joked that Vince immediately said no, then explained that he asked her to take 30 days to think about the decision, but that turned into nearly five months away.
“He said no. He said ‘I’m gonna give you 30 days to think about it.’ And I took more than 30 days.”
Austin referenced his own months-long sabbatical after he infamously left because he didn’t want to lose to a then-rookie Brock Lesnar, noting that he didn’t handle things in the greatest fashion.
“This place can definitely get to you,” Banks said. “It’s hard.”
Banks said she wanted to check a bunch of things off of her list during her break, and explained how she ended up training in Japan with Meiko Satamura, noting it was something she needed to do for herself.
Sasha left WWE after losing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 35 last year, and the hiatus ran until she returned on the August 12 episode of RAW.
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