sasna banks

Being a fan of professional wrestling with parents who embrace your fandom is a great thing, but being a fan can be difficult if your parental units don’t appreciate it or see it is vile. The latter was true for Sasha Banks and she had unique circumstances in her childhood which she spoke about in a recent episode of her podcast, Making Their Way To The Ring with Lilian Garcia.

“Wrestling is the only thing that I’ve ever loved. From the moment I laid my eyes on wrestling I knew that was what my calling was […] I remember I was living in Iowa at the time and there was nothing on tv and we had no cable and SmackDown came on and I was like what is this? And, I remember my mom coming in and being like, ‘What are you doing, what are you watching?’ God wouldn’t like this stuff! Turn that off!’ And I was like, ‘ok.’ So I turned it off and I ran into my brother’s room and I turned it back on and I just continued watching it. And I was like, ‘wow.’ I was instantly hooked and ever since that very moment I watched wrestling every single week. And I had legit, I would skip you know, you know so many friends’ parties, sleepovers, I even missed my grandpa’s funeral. I sad that in a podcast and people were like what the…? Just so I could watch wrestling. I missed thanksgiving, going to my grandma’s house because I wanted to stay home and watch wrestling because I knew that I wouldn’t be allowed to watch it at her place. It was for me, growing up was really difficult having a brother with autism. It was such a struggle but having that two hours of just having wrestling was just-that I felt like that was my time, my only time. My escape.”

Of course, she went on to speak about her admiration toward Eddie Guerrero. She’s been very vocal about her fandom for Latino Heat. She said he was exactly who she wanted to be. The fact she had wrestling in her life always kept her head on straight while the world around her spun quickly as she spoke about her family’s turbulent past.

“I remember them just not being together since I was two, and [my father] would be around here and there, but you know he was abusive to my mom. I always remember the police coming through our house when I was really young and just always being scared of him and for me the most difficult part is when my mom told me we were going to move to Oregon to be around him for him to help us. And, at that time I was 11 or 12 and I was like ‘help us? he’s never helped us before so why are we going there now?’ Because you know he is Snoop Dogg’s uncle, so he has money. And he has his own restaurant and he has a record label and he does music on the side, so he has money. But he’s never helped. He’s never paid one thing of child support. And I just remember being 11 years old and we drove from Iowa to Oregon with my brother and at the time he was a Tasmanian devil. He couldn’t be by himself. He would hit you, pull your hair. He would hit me all the time. And it was so hard just driving across country to Oregon to this man who’s never helped us. To try to get help from him. And I just remember living there and I was so miserable, and I was so depressed. And I was just like ‘what are we doing here, what are we doing here?’ He never helped us. And finally my mom was like he’s not helping us so we packed our stuff, we left.”

The Boss’ life early on was greatly decided by her unique and unfortunate circumstances but she persevered through it all and turned her fandom into a realized dream. But as a child, she had to move across the country, change schools and be uprooted at a moment’s notice due to her brother’s Autism. They lived in a hotel room for three years. Sasha Banks just told her mother through it all, that she will do everything she can for the family. She just wanted wrestling in return.

Later on in life when Sasha’s professional wrestling career was starting to take off, her brother’s fits became so unmanageable that she almost lost out on her dream because of it.

“I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t train for wrestling anymore because of him. I would come home and he would throw everything out the window. And I felt like every week cops were at our house because of him. he was fighting my mom, threatening her, threatening the neighbors, running away. Every week the cops were at our house. And I was like ‘not again’, and I say not again because that’s what happens. Like, legit since I was 2 with my brother I’ve always had cops at the house. I’ve always have social workers stop by. And I was like, ‘god why again, why’s this happening again?’ And this was when I was really taking off like getting a lot of extra work with WWE and you know, trying to get signed and here I am living my dream, you know. Training to be a wrestler and I’m taking off in the indies, and I couldn’t take any more bookings  I couldn’t train and that’s what killed me. Because I always told my mom I’m always gonna be here for you guys, but just give me wrestling. Because that’s all I ask. And you know, when I finally did get signed by WWE the last day I packed up all my stuff, and here’s the cops at my house again. And they had to take my brother to a psych ward, and here I am driving off in a U-Haul saying ‘bye’ to my mom. But seeing the police take my brother away.”

Sasha said she felt guilt and she felt like she had no right to leave her family to pursue her dream. She said she felt guilty and had so many emotions going through her mind at the time. Sasha says her mom was so happy for her when she finally got the call up and she says everything happens for a reason because her brother is doing amazing.