Sasha Banks Q&A: 2018 Royal Rumble, future of women’s wrestling, becoming face of WWE


History was made this past Monday night on Raw when Stephanie McMahon announced that on Jan. 28th, the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match will take place live at a special start time of 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

I had the opportunity to chat with Sasha Banks about if she’s thought about what role she would like to play in the Royal Rumble match, which stars from the past she’s hoping will make a surprise appearance, the next step she wants to take in her career, Ronda Rousey, and why she hates Christmas.

So let’s start off with Ronda … Just kidding

“Yeah, you better not.”

Of course, this interview is about you.

As someone who has dreamt of being in a Royal Rumble match, have you thought about what role you would want to have? I assume starting first and then going on to win the match would be at the top of your list, but there is also something about coming in hot at say like number seven and eliminating a bunch of people that seems like it would be really enticing.

“I don’t know if I would want to start off first. I would have to do extra cardio to prepare and with the holiday season I’ve been eating a lot, so I don’t know if I would be ready for that … just kidding (laughs).

Honestly, I would rather get that lucky number 30 and throw everyone out that’s left. I don’t want to sweat my makeup off. I want to look good! But no, I haven’t seriously thought about it or had a chance to because I’m still kind of in that shock moment and I’ve been more thinking about what legend could be in the match or if we’ll have girls from NXT be in the match because with [the] SmackDown and Raw [rosters] we don’t have enough to get to that 30 number yet.

The potential of what legend can I work has me more excited than which number I’ll be in the Royal Rumble match, but I think when I get closer to the actual Royal Rumble, that’s when I’ll get more of my nerves. I don’t want to say I’m in shock because I guessed that this would happen, but it’s still so crazy to kick off 2018 knowing that the women are going to have a Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble. It’s really cool.”

Do you know how many girls are going to be in the match?

“I don’t. I would hope 30, right? Just like the guys.”

I would think so, but when I counted all of the active women on the main roster, I realized almost a third of the match would be legends and NXT girls if that magic 30 number was going to be hit. So perfect time to ask this; is there anyone from the past that you can’t wait to hear their music after the crowd finishes their countdown?

“I would love to hear Trish Stratus’ music. Of course Lita, Molly Holly, Jazz, Jacqueline, man even Victoria. It would be an honor to be in the ring with any of those girls.

Beth Phoenix. Of course I want to win it, but at the same time, I would just want her to pick me up and throw me over the top. I would mark out, but I would land on my hands and go back into the ring like Kofi Kingston (laughs).

Any of those girls would be incredible, but of course I would love to see girls from NXT get the opportunity, but of course they wouldn’t win it because I would be the last person standing.”

What about any girls from the Mae Young Classic?

“I mean a lot of the girls from the Mae Young Classic were signed to NXT, so I guess it would be any of the girls who are in NXT now.

My girl Lacey Evans, she was in the Mae Young Classic and she signed with NXT. I have like a women’s crush on her because she reminds me of Sailor Moon, so I really like her (laughs).”

You talked about wanting to sit in the ring at your old wrestling school and reflect on your career recently. I wondered how much the thought of reassessing your personal goals and figuring out where you’re going to go next with your character played a part in wanting to do that.

“For me it’s always been the goal of wanting to be the best and wanting to make a name, my statement here in the WWE. I want to go down as a legend and as the greatest of all time, so those goals have always been a priority for anything I can do.

If I’m even given a five-minute match, I want it to be the best match on the show. Things like that are easy, but for me the hardest thing is to actually think back about all of the things I have accomplished because with how fast things go here in the WWE, we’re on the road every single week, we do live TV every week, it’s hard to actually get to sit down and reflect on where I came from, where I’ve been and how much I’ve done in the company already and I’ve only been on the main roster for almost three years now and I’ve been with WWE for five.

It’s crazy to actually try to have the time to reflect and not get overwhelmed. Like wow dude, look at all of the stuff you’ve done in three years, but it’s crazy because I just want so much more because I’m never satisfied. Of course after the Royal Rumble, the next goal is to main event WrestleMania, to have a singles match at WrestleMania. To main event WWE house shows is a goal.

There are just so many goals … like we keep talking about this women’s evolution, but I just want it to become normal where it’s not just interviews talking about the women, I just want it to be Sasha Banks the WWE superstar. Being the face of the company.

There are so many goals … what I’ve done in these three years is almost like a haze because sometimes I’m like is this a dream? There’s been a lot of stuff (laughs).”

I feel like it’s only going to take time to get people to realize that the women’s revolution or evolution, whatever you want to call it, was a period of time that was needed to get to a point where it’s normal to have women featured in the main event of any show and it’s not a big deal that needs to be pointed out. The storyline will have dictated the placement.

“Exactly and that’s what the number one thing is. I don’t just want something to be given to us just to put that little stamp like ‘Oh look the women are doing it now it’s cool.’ No.

My goal is to main event WrestleMania and if we’re going to main event it, I need it to be the greatest storyline ever. I need the fans to be invested. I just don’t want to get handed something because they’re putting a first time ever [match] for women. I want it to be a good storyline and I want the crowd to care because those are the moments that …

I feel like the reason people talk about the Brooklyn match [I had] with Bayley so much is because of the history between me and Bayley. You know that she fought from the very beginning to get the women’s championship and for me, I fought to keep that and to show people that I’m the best.

People are invested in the storylines more than just putting a name on something and bam! First time ever, you know what I mean?”

Yeah, and it leads me to this, on the Steve Austin podcast you opened up about the idea of women’s tag team championships as a way to help create storyline options for women and give fans more reasons to invest in the division, which led me to this thought. If there was only going be one title on each show, what about having contender’s rankings, so that way every match has a consequence for the winner and loser. It feels like the crowd is able to check out quite a bit on both men’s and women’s matches because there is no reason to invest in the finish of the match.

“Yeah I can hear that, but at the same time … sometimes you get to the matches and they’re like there’s no story to it, but the main story is that you want to win and the more wins you get, the more management sees you as being a potential to go for a championship, so it’s just more about putting on good matches and having fans invested because every single week I want to win, dude. I don’t want to lose.”

You’ve said that the ‘Boss’ character has given you confidence outside of the world of WWE, but has it helped to give you the confidence to fight for something with your character when you disagree with a direction?

“Absolutely. It’s pretty much we within myself that is someone I always wanted to be because I was very shy growing up. I kept to myself. I didn’t have the confidence that I have when I’m in that ring. So if it’s a storyline or things that I want to do in a match, I can be very opinionated, which sometimes sucks because I have a mouth on me.

You learn to pick your battles and to really feel out what’s important to me because you can’t fight for everything, but the things you do fight for should mean something.

I try to fight for the things that have the potential to make something incredible.”

The last thing I have is, what, if anything, is on your Christmas list?

“Well if you were a fan, you would know that I do not like Christmas.”

(Writer’s note here: I didn’t see this topic come up in any of my research, so yes I felt like a stupid idiot here.)

I did not know that (nervously laughing).

“I don’t like Christmas. I don’t care for it at all. If anyone wants to buy me anything for Christmas, I do love makeup. I love Starbucks gift cards because I’m a coffee addict. I don’t mind getting the gifts, I just don’t like buying people gifts because I feel like they are always so ungrateful.

I would always go to my grandmother’s house for Christmas and she had some money, but every time she wanted me to write her a list, I would write WWE action figure and not a stupid Barbie and she would always buy me a Barbie and it would always hurt my feelings, which is another reason why I don’t like Christmas.

But it’s cool now because I now have an action figure and I have a Barbie, so take that grandma.”

You showed her didn’t you?

“I did (laughs). But the nicest thing I did was I actually surprised my husband with a Christmas tree because that’s how much I dislike Christmas.

He never had one, so that was his Christmas present. He saw it today and he cried.”

Twitter: @ScottDargis

How to watch WWE Crown Jewel 2022: Live stream online, start time, PLE schedule, match card


The WWE Crown Jewel 2022 match card is set and it’s all happening this Saturday live on Peacock. Tune in to watch the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match between social media star Logan Paul and the defending champion, The Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. We’ve got you covered on everything you need to know so you don’t miss a second of the action.

Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch WWE Crown Jewel live!

Where is WWE’s Crown Jewel event?

Crown Jewel is WWE’s main recurring event in Saudi Arabia and the 2022 event marks the fourth year in a ten-year partnership between the two sides. This year’s event will be held at Mrsool Park in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. 

What time is WWE Crown Jewel 2022?

WWE’s Crown Jewel Kickoff show begins at 11 a.m. ET and the main card PLE event should start around 12 p.m. ET.

  • WWE’s The Bump will be available on-demand beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Peacock
  • Kickoff Show: 11 a.m. ET
  • Main card:  12 p.m. ET

How to watch WWE Crown Jewel this year

Crown Jewel will be available on Peacock for fans in the U.S. and WWE Network for viewers outside of the U.S.

Who is the current WWE Universal Champion?

Roman Reigns, who last defeated Drew McIntyre at WWE Clash at the Castle. He will defend this title against Logan Paul in the main event on Saturday. This will mark Paul’s third official match inside a WWE ring, and he’s coming off defeating The Miz at Summerslam and knocking out Jey Uso at WWE Smackdown. Jake Paul, Logan’s brother, is fresh off his defeat of Anderson Silva last weekend and will be in Logan’s corner for support against the rest of The Bloodline.

WWE Crown Jewel 2022 match card

  • The Usos vs. The Brawling Brutes
  • Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs. Damage Control
  • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
  • Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross (with Scarlett)
  • Braun Strowman vs. Omos (with MVP)
  • The O.C. vs The Judgment Day
  • Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley
  • Roman Reigns vs Logan Paul

“At WWE Crown Jewel, the WWE Universe will once again go down the rabbit hole as Bray Wyatt is scheduled to appear.”

Are there any WWE events after Crown Jewel?

After Crown Jewel, WWE will wrap up the 2022 schedule with Survivor Series in Boston on November 26 and NXT Deadline on December 10.

How to watch and stream WWE live on Peacock:

Peacock is now the exclusive streaming home of WWE. With an upgrade to Peacock Premium, you will have access to all WWE Premium Live Events like WWE Crown Jewel, as well as original series, groundbreaking documentaries, and your favorite shows from the WWE Archives.

Select a Premium Plan to create a new account or to upgrade. You can also upgrade or change your existing plan at any time. Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a recurring charge, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Crown Jewel will be available on Premium Live Events (PLE) or via Peacock for fans in the U.S.

WWE Extreme Rules: How to watch, start time, PLE schedule, live stream


The WWE returns to Philadelphia to host Extreme Rules for the first time in October.

The Wells Fargo Center, which housed the event in 2019, will be the center of the wrestling world when Ronda Rousey looks to avenge her controversial loss at SummerSlam in a no holds barred match against Liv Morgan for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

Also on the card are Seth “Freaking” Rollins and Matt Riddle continuing their grudge match inside the fight pit with special guest referee and UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier.

Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch WWE Extreme Rules!

What time is WWE Extreme Rules?

  • Date: Saturday, October 8
  • WWE’s The Bump: 3 p.m. ET
  • Kickoff Show: 7 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 8 p.m. ET

What channel is showing WWE Extreme Rules?

What to know about WWE Extreme Rules

Ronda Rousey is on a rampage to reclaim the SmackDown Women’s Championship, dominating a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match for the opportunity to get champion, Liv Morgan, in a match, with no rules, no disqualifications and no mercy.

Matt Riddle continues his ongoing feud against Seth “Freakin” Rollins inside the fight pit, where a steel cage will hold these two brawlers in what is looking to be a brutal match.

Don’t forget: the day kicks off at 3 p.m. ET with WWE Extreme Rules edition of WWE’s The Bump, with Kayla Braxton, Matt Camp and Ryan Pappolla preparing for the night’s action and chatting with special guests ahead of the showdowns to come.

WWE Extreme Rules matches

  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match – Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
  • Raw Women’s Championship Ladder Match – Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
  • Inside the Fight Pit (Guest referee UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier) – Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freaking” Rollins
  • Strap Match – Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kros
  • “I Quit” Match – Edge vs. Finn Balor
  • Six-Man Tag Team Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match – The Brawling Brutes vs. Imperium

How to watch and stream WWE live on Peacock:

Peacock is now the exclusive streaming home of WWE. With an upgrade to Peacock Premium, you will have access to all WWE Premium Live Events like WWE Extreme Rules, as well as original series, groundbreaking documentaries, and your favorite shows from the WWE Archives.

Select a Premium Plan to create a new account or to upgrade. You can also upgrade or change your existing plan at any time. Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a recurring charge, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Extreme Rules will be available on Premium Live Events (PLE) or via Peacock for fans in the U.S.