In 2015, The Mountain Goats released Beat The Champ, an album dedicated to frontman John Darnielle’s love of territories era pro wrestling. It drew its fair share of attention and acclaim - especially within wrestling circles for songs like “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” and “Heel Turn 2”. One of the insiders who found the album was then NXT Women’s Champ Sasha Banks, who tweeted:
Where's my song @mountain_goats ?— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) May 3, 2015
The Twitter account for the low-fi indie folk rock act (presumably run by Darnielle, who’s behind most things Mountain Goats) replied:
@SashaBanksWWE album is all old territories days but I accept this challenge. Song for Sasha Banks will be written before end of tour— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) May 4, 2015
And that was that. Until, more than three years later...
We here in the @mountain_goats acknowledge @SashaBanksWWE as the Boss and we know no road worth traveling doesn't have some bumps and we promised her this song several years back and I wrote it last week and here it is https://t.co/FZApRe6p1m— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) June 18, 2018
Explaining on bandcamp, the site where he posted “Song for Sasha Banks” on Mon., June 18, that “it took a little longer than that [the end of Mountain Goats’ 2015 tour]”, Darnielle also said he’s spent some of the time researching The Boss’ journey:
“Last night Sasha Banks wrestled for the Money in the Bank title, and while she didn’t take it home this time, I’ve learned enough about where she came from and how she got to where she is now to say with confidence: the sky is the limit for you. Your walk is just beginning and the day will come when all your setbacks look like steps on a ladder.
Jon Wurster and I recorded this song at Chris Stamey’s place last week -- that’s Chris on bass; I last worked with Chris on the Moon Colony Bloodbath DP. Thanks to Chris for making this happen and to the Boss, Sasha Banks herself, for inspiring us all - to learn about you and to write this song was a real honor for me.
Dedicated of course to Sasha and to everybody who’s even had a hint of what it looks like when your dreams start pushing their elbows through the gauze into the real world of blood & sweat & bone.”
Sasha’s kind of in heel mode on social media right now, but even she was too charmed by the tune to point out its tardiness, or the ‘Money in the Bank title’ thing...
❤️— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) June 19, 2018
Opinions of the track will obviously vary depending on your taste in music. Lyrically, Darnielle manages to strike his usual tone between documentarian and romantic in describing how Sasha went from a fan “kicked out of the living room for watching” Chris Jericho matches with her brother to a wrestling student in Boston, then the indies to finding her spot “in 64 point type atop the top line” in WWE.
It’s never gonna replace “Sky’s The Limit” as an entrance theme, of course. “Those who would stand between me and my final destination get torched inside the fire of my transcendence,” is a great line, but it’s not “cause a girl gonna push it all out the way”.
But we think it’s pretty great. Certainly it’s a nice consolation prize for missing out on that ‘Money in the Bank title’ (sorry, couldn’t resist).