Speaking on the latest episode of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions podcast that dropped onto the WWE Network today, Sasha Banks opened up about Vince McMahon’s reaction when she asked to leave WWE.
After WrestleMania 35 in 2019, Sasha Banks took some time away from WWE and did not return for four months. She spoke to Steve Austin about how, despite winning the women’s tag team titles a few months prior, she was not happy:
“At Elimination Chamber, I know how important that match was for Bayley, but at that time I still was slowly [going down] and not happy.”
When asked about why she wasn’t happy during that time, the SmackDown Women’s Champion opened up about how she was dealing with a bout of depression:
“Depression. 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 is purple hair every single day. There were just so many things that were just — I let it control me. I let it take it and be like, ‘This is too much’ instead of being like, ‘You know what? Everything’s good. Breathe. Everything’s fine.’ [Laughs]”
“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.
“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 — ask to leave the WWE.”
Sasha Banks explained that she actually asked to leave WWE at that time, but Vince McMahon said no and told her to take 30 days to think over her request. Thankfully, Banks decided to stay with WWE and is doing much better.
“I asked to leave and Vince was like, ‘no,’” Banks laughed. “He said no. He said I’m gonna give you 30 days to think about it. And I took more than 30 days.”
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this story, information on where you can find help is available at this link.
Thanks to WrestlingInc for the transcription.