As 2019 came to a close, Sasha Banks’ status was being questioned. Injuries and time away were a factor. However, in 2020 we saw Banks embody the megastar we all knew she could be when given the spotlight. She also got to hang with one of the most internationally-known stars outside of the ring in Baby Yoda.
Multiple title reigns, solid matches, and a star-making role make it easy to announce that Sasha Banks is The Scrap’s 2020 Female Wrestler of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Asuka, Bayley and Io Shirai.
Turning heel in late 2019 for the first time since 2016 ended up helping her more than harming her. While she didn’t appear in the Royal Rumble to start 2020, Banks’ presence was felt due to her relationship with Bayley. The team would become the next Two-Man Power Trip; In June they won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles and Banks would then win the Raw Women’s Title against Asuka. That complimented Bayley’s SmackDown Women’s Title. Although shenanigans were involved, the match was a masterpiece that displayed the athletic nature of both Asuka and Banks.
— Mercedes Varnado (@SashaBanksWWE) January 9, 2021
Unfortunately, Banks would once again have a short reign as champion, losing to Asuka in August. After losing the tag titles, it was Bayley who turned on Sasha after months (in reality years) of the two teasing a program with one another. With the dynamic switched compared to their NXT days, Sasha and Bayley would be the highlight of every show. With real emotions that can reel you in, and in-ring work that can make any veteran proud, Banks and Bayley were untouchable.
The two would put on a Match of the Year contender in October at the Hell in a Cell PPV. In a match inside the hellacious structure, Banks and Bayley were doing everything it took to take on another down. Banks ended up beating Bayley, becoming the third Women’s Grand Slam and fourth Triple Crown Champion in WWE. She also did something she has never done; successfully defend her title on the main roster, doing so by beating Bayley in a rematch. It was a long time coming and a satisfying feeling for fans.
Despite a pandemic, Banks’ workrate didn’t diminish outside of her feud with Bayley and Asuka. She put on a fantastic clinic against NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai at NXT’s Great American Bash in July. Banks also was able to put on solid matches with Carmella and her new gimmick, with the former recently beating the latter at the TLC PPV to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title.
Over the years, Banks has helped elevate the women’s division of WWE. She has been a part of Iron Man, Hell in a Cell, and ladder matches, among others. She is never shy to say that Eddie Guerrero is one of the reasons she is doing what she is today. Recently speaking on WWE Now India, Banks discussed Latino’s Heat legacy.
“I thank Eddie Guerrero for everything,” Banks said, via Essentially Sports. “He really laid the foundation for what I think a wrestler should be to the WWE and to the world he is incredible, he is the best and if nobody’s ever seen him, please get the WWE Network and watch him. He is so magical you know, words can’t even say. You just have to watch that.”
Not only did she impress in the ring, but she made a name for herself outside of it. Banks starred as Koska Reeves in the hit show The Mandalorian. She had some snappy dialogue and performed some intense scenes. Branding herself has resulted in success, as many are praising her role. With a chance to continue the role and in Hollywood, her star appears to be shining bright in Tinseltown.
2020 was a banner year for Banks personally and professionally. As a fighting champion, it can only go up from here. In a year most would like to forget, “The Boss” made it one to remember. The pride of the Four Horsewomen, Sasha Banks will look to carry her momentum in 2021.
It’s not entirely impossible, and you can Bank on that.