If you’ve been watching wrestling, or consuming stories of any kind, for very long, you could see signs of Sasha Banks becoming a villain on Raw last night (Jan. 30).
Or at least one big sign, namely that she didn’t just heroically brush off her best friend Bayley’s concern about her health, but implied the Hugster was counseling her to forego a rematch with Nia Jax because, unlike Sasha, Bayles is “okay with coming up short”.
It’s a move many fans have been clamoring for since WWE responded to “we want Sasha” chants by making her a babyface. The thinking goes that Banks is more suited to being a heel, and a turn allows them to resume the epic rivalry she and Bayley had from NXT, since the Hugger is a natural face.
On Wrestling Observer Radio (subscription required but recommended), Dave Meltzer commented that a Banks’ heel turn is coming "fairly soon". That development would fit with the angles we’re seen on screen and heard about backstage.
In kayfabe, despite winning the Raw Women’s title three times, the Boss was never able to defend on pay-per-view (PPV). The injury she suffered in her last encounter with Charlotte Flair, an Iron Man match at Roadblock: End of the Line, both led to a defeat in extremely demoralizing fashion when she tapped out at the last second to send the match to overtime and has served as a focal point for the head games of her current rival, Nia Jax. Being “broken” and returning to her old “me first” ways makes sense.
Behind-the-scenes, rumors persist that Vince McMahon worries the diminutive Banks is injury-prone and hesitant to push her as his top female star as a result. The company’s also reportedly interesting in establishing Bayley as a top act - being betrayed by and eventually getting revenge against her former best friend would help get her sympathy and cheers.
Sasha and Bayley are currently the only two heroic women on Monday, with even supporting characters like Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke being heels, so returning the Boss to the dark side leaves a gap - or, optimistically, creates an opening - WWE will have to figure out how to fill.
But it looks like it’s happening, so they’ll have to deal with that one way or another.
While they do that, we’ll ask you... is this what you want? Is a Sasha heel turn the right move?