WWE needs to put Sasha Banks on the same level as the other Horsewomen

WWE star Sasha Banks (Photo by David Caird/Newspix/Getty Images)
WWE star Sasha Banks (Photo by David Caird/Newspix/Getty Images) /

Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair have defined a generation of greatness in WWE, but their in-ring triumphs have not been shared equally.

If you go back and look at the best wrestling matches of the last five years, a large number of them have involved Sasha Banks. Many of The Legit Boss’ contemporaries’ best matches came when they were in the same ring as the Boston-billed superstar, whether it’s Ronda Rousey’s match at WWE Royal Rumble 2019 or Bayley’s unforgettable win at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.

A member of the “Four Horsewomen” stable which has its roots in NXT, Banks is a crucial part of women’s wrestling and is often regarded as the best of the four women inside the squared circle. Her catalogue of incredible matches and feuds with each of the three women in the faction are a testament to her greatness.

Yet when I scroll through the list of most total days as champion across reigns among active women in WWE, I am continually disappointed by how Sasha Banks isn’t put on an even playing field as her peers by WWE. The company understands her importance, and the fans understand her greatness. But the disconnect remains.

For starters, Sasha Banks has never been SmackDown Women’s Champion. Her time will come – or, at least, that’s what we keep repeating to ourselves as a sanity check a la Frank Costanza’s “Serenity Now” – but I note this so that we first place or focus on the Raw Women’s Title.

It’s a championship Sasha has won four times, with three of those victories coming over Charlotte during their historically great feud in late 2016. Banks lost the title quickly after each victory, so she was a champion for only 80 combined days. Lynch has held the title for 365 days – and counting – in her reign, Alexa Bliss has been Raw Women’s Champion for nearly 400 days, Charlotte has 242 combined days as the Red Brand’s champ, and Bayley’s lone title reign last 75 days.

Moving over to SmackDown, Bayley (320 and counting), Becky (217), and Charlotte (189) lead the way across multiple title reigns.

So when combining all the data, here’s how things stand in terms of combined days as Raw and SmackDown Women’s champions, as recognized by WWE:

  1. Becky Lynch (582)
  2. Alexa Bliss (505)
  3. Charlotte Flair (431)
  4. Bayley (395)
  5. Ronda Rousey (231)
  6. Naomi (148)
  7. Carmella (130)
  8. Asuka (99)
  9. Natalya (86)
  10. Sasha Banks (80)

As you can see, the Four Horsewomen dominate the top five, and three of the faction’s four members are in the top four. It is Alexa Bliss in second who replaces Banks, and Banks slides all the way to 10th despite being a four-time women’s champion.

Am I saying that Banks is “booked worse” than Naomi, Carmella, Asuka, and Natalya? Absolutely not! But I use this chart of days as Raw and SmackDown Women’s Champion to highlight just how staggering the difference is between Sasha’s booking and the booking of the other Four Horsewomen.

This discrepancy is extremely important in light of how often the Four Horsewomen of WWE, as a faction, are criticized by fans for not putting others over enough. Aside from the two fallacies that 1) They book their own matches and 2) WWE shouldn’t book its most popular wrestlers better, it’s quite alarming that Sasha gets lumped in there. Because Bliss has been the one booked more like the other Four Horsewomen than Banks.

Given how talented Sasha Banks is and how much drawing power she has  – Google Trends shows only Becky has been more popular in the past 12 months, and she’s one of WWE’s top two stars – you’d expect her to be the face of the division as champion far more frequently than 80 days across four nondescript title reigns.

Banks’ booking is especially concerning when looking at how Black wrestlers have been frequently wronged by WWE. We’ve spoken about how Black men rarely hold world titles in the company, which is what made Kofi Kingston’s triumph at WrestleMania 35 so special. But Black women also face immense barriers and aren’t booked as top stars nearly enough.

Ember Moon, Naomi, and Sasha are the only two Black women who have been champions in the last five years, and they have fewer combined days as champion as Rousey or the women with the top five most days holding a title. And neither Naomi nor Sasha have been champions since 2017.

I bring this up, because it’s an important injustice WWE continues to struggle with and must listen to, especially as Black wrestling fans, specifically Black women, feel rightfully alienated by this lack of representation at the top.

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Sasha Banks is one of the absolute best wrestlers in the world and showed during her rivalry with Becky Lynch last year that she has what it takes to be one of THE top stars in this company. Yet WWE won’t even give her the same opportunities at the very top as her peers. The arguments of “she doesn’t need a title” don’t cut it anymore.

The Boss is one of the best on this planet, and that should be enough of a reason for WWE to book her like the best and work towards making her a mainstream crossover star. Because if they don’t, we can’t help but think of the worst, especially in the context of the company’s ongoing failings with representation.