The Untold Truth Of Sasha Banks
The Untold Truth Of Sasha Banks
Mercedes "Sasha Banks" Kaestner-Varnado hustled her way into the world of wrestling by making a name for herself on the independent circuit. She eventually finessed her way into the World Wrestling Federation (WWE) and transformed into a superstar headlining her own pay-per-view main event.
She has broken barriers as one of the most thrilling performers to take the ring, striving to become a five-time champion (as of this writing,) and we are not the only ones who are mesmerized by her onstage presence. She's attracted legions of adoring fans, thanks to her electric purple hair, her blinged-out costumes, and her high-flying finishing moves, such as the "bankrupt," the "bank statement," and the "frog splash" — an homage to her wrestling idol, the late Eddie Guerrero.
By now, most of her fans know the basics about her, including the fact that rapper Snoop Dogg is her cousin, but there's much more to learn. From her secretive love life to how she turned her wrestling aspirations into her dream job, this is the untold truth of Sasha Banks.
During a candid interview on the Making Their Way to the Ring podcast, Banks claimed her father was abusive toward her mother, recalling "always being scared of him" growing up. By the time she turned 2, he had allegedly left their family in the dust to start a new life in Oregon.
Banks, her mother, and her autistic brother traveled across the United States in search of a better life. By the time she was 11 or 12 years old, her mom broke the news that they would be relocating from Iowa to Oregon to be closer to her father and try to get some support from him. "I was like 'Help us?' He never helped us before," Banks recalled. "[My father is] Snoop Dogg's uncle. He has money, a restaurant, a record label, and he does music on the side … He's never paid [any] child support."
"I was so miserable and I was so depressed"
in Oregon, she said. It apparently did not take long for her mom to realize that old habits die hard. "Finally my mom's like, 'He's not helping us,' so we packed our stuff, we left…" Banks said.
A Life-Altering Decision At The Age Of 13
The family of three left Oregon and proceeded to bounce around in search of a school suitable for her autistic brother. Banks told the Making Their Way to the Ring podcast that her brother had experienced abuse in some of his previous educational settings, but upon arriving in Minnesota, things did not get much better for their family.
Her mother was unemployed. They lived in a hotel room for years, and Banks said she was relentlessly teased at school about her appearance. To make matter worse, her brother's behavior worsened due to the alleged abuse he was suffering. When her mom finally landed a job, Banks made a bold decision at the age of 13 to quit school and take online courses so she could become her brother's full-time caregiver.
"I do not know what a childhood is," she said. "I never had my teenage years. I never went to prom. I never really had a boyfriend. I knew nothing." Because she was willing to make such a huge sacrifice, Banks asked her mom for one thing in return: I will do anything for this family," she said. "Just give me wrestling."
Perseverance Paid Off
Banks began pursuing a wrestling career when she was just a kid. She told BET that she "emailed so many wrestling schools" begging for a chance. She finally got her break at age 17, when she was invited to attend the New England Pro Wrestling Academy in Boston. When her mom landed a job in the same city, it was the perfect opportunity for their family to make yet another move. "I was 17 about to turn 18. I told my mom, 'I'm 18 now, I just signed these papers by myself and I'm going to do this,'" she sais. "I was the only girl in that little tryout fantasy camp."
Working in a male-dominated field takes a lot of guts, and Banks was definitely up for the challenge. "At the time, I had no money, no nothing at all," she said. Banks never stopped pursuing the WWE. "I emailed them legit every single week, asking for work," she said. "One day I finally got the call and they said they were going to send me down to FCW (training division) for a tryout."
Hard work, determination, and nagging emails paid off!
The makings of 'The Boss'
Some of the best wrestlers made a name for themselves with their catchy ring names or slogans, and Banks wanted to add a memorable nickname to her moniker, too. She found inspiration in popular hip-hop artists. Since her wrestling persona is centered around bragging, boasting, and showing off massive amounts of confidence, Banks told the Orlando Sentinel, "I was looking at people like [Snoop], Kanye [West] and Nicki Minaj, then somehow the idea 'I'm the boss' clicked with me."
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