The women’s revolution in the WWE is often times given credit to the emergence of Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley in NXT; collectively known as the 4 Horsewomen. Over the course of the next 5 years they have rightfully (and not rightfully) been credited with both elevating and burying the women’s divisions. However, it’s time we stop putting Sasha Banks into the later category.
Lets start off with their debut on the main roster in 2015. In July of that year Lynch, Flair and Banks would all make their main roster debut on Monday Night Raw. While Banks was clearly the biggest of the 3 at the time and the most over, it was Flair who got the immediate title shot vs then champion Nikki Bella and won the title almost immediately. Banks and Lynch would be “sidekicks” to to speak for Team Bad vs Team PCB vs Team Bella. It got to the point that Banks (a heel) would be showered with “we want Sasha” chants. What happened next? it was still ignored. Flair would still dominate the women’s division while Banks would disappear from TV for a few months except rare appearances.
The following year in 2016 Banks would make her return at the Royal Rumble and attack Lynch and then Flair and make her intentions clear she wanted Flair’s championship. Banks and Lynch would have some number one contenders matches (despite Lynch losing multiple times to Charlotte already before including at the Rumble) with all of them ending either in a draw, double pin or DQ. A triple threat was then made for WrestleMania 32 in Dallas Texas. Banks at the time was the clear fan favorite to walk out champion. She was introduced by her cousin Snoop Dogg to a huge ovation, surely she would be walking out champion with that kind of entrance right? Well not exactly, Flair would retain when Lynch took the loss. The WWE knew they made a mistake because banks was removed from TV until July of the same year where she returned and finally got a 1 on 1 championship match with Flair. She would win the women’s title on Raw that same month. She would face Flair at Summerslam the following month and lose it back to Flair. She would be taken off TV for a month and the 4th member of the horsewomen Bayley would arrive to the main roster. She would get put into the Banks/Flair feud much like Lynch did. They would have a triple threat at Clash of champions where again Banks didn’t take the pin but didn’t win the match as Flair pinned Bayley. Banks would get a 1 on 1 match with Flair on Raw a few weeks later and once again win the championship. The following month banks would face Flair in her rematch in at Hell in a Cell in Boston Massachusetts in the very first women’s HIAC match, surely the hometown hero would walk out champion right? They couldn’t do it again could they? Nope, Flair won the match and the championship. A few weeks later Banks would face Flair in Flair’s hometown of Charlotte, NC. She would actually win the championship and after the match she would get a ringing endorsement from Ric Flair himself. Surely banks was set up to be the top star of the women’s division. The final battle between Banks and Flair would be at Roadblock end of the line. I wont even get into the ridiculous booking of this match (and the following night), just know that Flair won the match and ultimately the feud.
Moving on to 2017 Banks would feud with Nia Jax to begin leading to a 4 way match at WrestleMania with Flair, Jax and Bayley who was the champion at the time. Did WWE do anything to even tease the history of Banks and Bayley? Of course they didn’t, Banks would actually be eliminated second and Bayley would beat Flair. Banks would spend the rest of 2017 in the upper mid card scene until she won the championship from Bliss at Summerslam in Brooklyn. She would lose it 8 days later in a clean fashion to former champion Alexa Bliss. Following that Banks would move into a feud with Alicia fox for almost the remainder of the year.
In 2018 Banks would compete in the very first women’s Royal Rumble, lasting 54 minutes eliminating the likes of Trish Stratus and Bayley. It seemed like it was gonna be a good year where she might get that “horsewomen” booking. She would compete at the elimination chamber in an elimination chamber match. It came down to Bliss the champion, Banks and Bayley. You would think from the Rumble they were heading towards Banks vs Bayley for WrestleMania 34. During the match Banks would kick Bayley off one of the pods betraying her but did she win the title to set up that match? nope Bliss retained when she pinned Banks. From there Banks and Bayley would end up in a battle royal at WrestleMania while Flair faced and ended the 900 day winning streak of Asuka. Over the next two months Bayley would attack Banks but did it lead to a match between the two of them? It did not; instead it lead to them going to counseling and reconciling. The two of them would be in tag matches for the next 4 months to end 2018. The company even had a chance to book Trish Stratus vs Sasha Banks at Evolution and instead chose Alexas Bliss (this will be relevant later).
The following year Banks/Bayley would become the first ever women’s tag team champions at elimination Chamber 2019. They were to defend the women’s tag titles at WrestleMania 35 in a 4 way against Beth Phoenix and Natalya, Nia Jax and Tamina and the Iiconics. During the buildup to this match Banks and Bayley actually showed up at a NXT house show saving the Sky Pirates (IO Shirai and Kairi Sane) teasing a future big match. However, at WrestleMania that year Banks and Bayley would drop the titles to the Iiconics, we never got the match teased with the Sky Pirates. Meanwhile Lynch and Flair (shoehorned) were in the first ever women’s main event with Ronda Rousey with both women’s titles on the line that Lynch won (screwing Smackdown women talent in the process). Banks would then take a hiatus to deal with mental health issues and even ask for her release from the company. After Summerslam the same year, Banks would make her return and turn heel for the very first time on the main roster on Lynch. She had huge momentum that would be derailed when she lost another hell in a cell match to Lynch. As for Charlotte, she would beat Trish Stratus at Summerslam and Bayley for the SD women’s title at HIAC.
From then on through April of 2020 Banks would play a “sidekick” role to Bayley while Bayley was in the midst of a 200+ day title run. Banks and Bayley were supposed to face each other at WrestleMania 36 for the SD women’s title but plans once again changed. It would turn into a 5 way match with Naomi, Lacey Evans and Tamina also added. Would it come down to Banks and Bayley? nope, again just like WrestleMania 33 she was eliminated before the end and Bayley pinned Evans to retain making Banks 0-5 at the biggest PPV the company puts on. While Banks lost this match, Flair would defeat a red hot up and coming NXT star in Rhea Ripley for the NXT title and Lynch would defeat another NXT star in Shayna Baszler. To the company’s credit they would stick to the plan and in October of that year Banks would beat Bayley for the SD women’s championship ending her 350+ day title reign.
Fast forward to 2021 and the emergence of Bianca Belair another rising NXT star. At the Royal Rumble, Belair would last almost an hour and win it getting a chance to main event WrestleMania 37 against Sasha Banks in a very historic first ever time two black women would main event a WrestleMania. What would happen is Banks would do what she always does and that’s put over the rising talent in Belair creating another star. Here we are 4 months later and Banks and Belair are scheduled for their rematch at Summerslam 2021. The WWE is heavy on promotion (t shirts, video packages, interviews, promos, television build anything you can think of). This match doesn’t even happen and the company says Banks can’t compete as the match is about to start. This would eventually lead to the return after 16 months of Becky Lynch?? who also has a brand new t shirt ready? and is reportedly turning heel? I wont speculate but something smells. What happened next was appalling and completely destroyed the historic main event at WrestleMania between Banks and Belair. The bell would ring and 16 seconds later Lynch is the champion ending the reign of a rising star of Belair. On this same night, Flair would win her 12th championship. So once again Lynch and Flair would leave a big pay per view as champions and Banks would not.
Banks has had an illustrious hall of fame career. She has been part of many first ever matches and also won many championships. She has probably become their biggest women’s star despite the lack of the same booking as the other Horsewomen. If you want to argue the “horsewomen” are responsible for hurting the division as some would claim fine just leave Sasha Banks out of it. Without her there would be no division for others to tear down.