WWE has held Sasha Banks in limbo for too long, so it isn't any surprise there are rumors swirling about her possibly leaving the company.
Call it an incredible misstep on WWE's part—if any of it is true—as Banks is worthy of being in the main event scene with the likes of Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, especially with a dominant end boss like Ronda Rousey on a hiatus.
Banks' alleged discontent with WWE started the day of WrestleMania 35. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc), Banks and her tag partner, Bayley, didn't find out they would be losing the tag team titles until just before the show. According to Meltzer, Banks consequently wanted to quit WWE (h/t Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc).
And just like that, Banks hasn't been seen on television since.
And she has every right to take issue with the way her oddly-named tag team (The Boss 'n' Hug Connection) dropped the titles. It was well known the two were fighting for the belts to be created in the first place. Once they were, a long run with them would have made sense.
Instead, they dropped the belts to The IIconics not 50 days into the inaugural reign.
And let's make this clear: The IIconics are one of the best things running in WWE right now. This isn't an indictment on them. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are hilarious, worthy champions and—unlike Sasha and Bayley, among other teams—have a well-rounded move set as a duo and are a natural tag team. They aren't just two Superstars smashed together for the fun of it.
But Banks, and to a lesser extent Bayley, has every right to be frustrated. WWE has already played Banks' missing-in-action status up in storylines too:
Bayley then got drafted to SmackDown in the shakeup, so the split with Banks right after dropping the titles seems guaranteed.
In the long run, Banks and Bayley breaking up probably makes sense. It didn't have to happen so soon, but WrestleMania 35 felt cobbled together when it came to the Four Horsewomen. Becky Lynch had a belt. Charlotte was, for some reason, gifted one before the event out of the blue. Banks and Bayley had theirs, so it almost seemed like all four would close the main event by holding up their respective titles at the first 'Mania to feature a women's main event.
Banks can at least spread her wings a bit as a solo performer again now. The past year has been a joke from a booking standpoint. She was in and out of a heated rivalry with Bayley that had no true consistency, and she hasn't been involved in a solo title chase in what feels like forever.
The Boss has an incredible resume in this regard. She was the NXT women's champion, an inaugural women's tag team champion and is a four-time Raw women's champion. But unlike her the peers she came up with, Banks has been left in the dust for no great reason—at least one understood publicly.
It has to change. Few Superstars in the company outright are better heels. The Boss character, when used right, is a natural at the top of the card and could play well in the slot Rousey used to occupy. It would serve as a natural rival to Lynch's character too.
What is unfortunate about the situation is this is so easy for WWE.
All WWE has to do is blend reality and fake again is to play up Banks' desire to leave and have her sabotaged by authority figures at every angle. Heck, even get Vince McMahon out there. Think the buildup to WrestleMania on short notice for Kofi Kingston. Maybe give Banks the Money in the Bank briefcase and have her cash in for one of Lynch's belts.
On one hand, it is hard to bash WWE too much for trying to deepen the the women's division. The IIconics getting the tag belts raises them up. Lacey Evans going at Lynch is a big deal.
But to misuse someone like Banks to the point she is said to be considering leaving the company is a massive error. She's too talented in the ring and to versatile as a character to let her get lost in all of this as steps toward a more rounded division are made.
Fans have seen some of these suggested feuds before. But having Banks go after Lynch while they both serve as tweener types with attitudes, taking the fight into social media and beyond, would be brilliant and main event-worthy on any pay-per-view.
If Banks stays, the best thing WWE could do is weave in these rumors and play off them to keep fans invested. Maybe they already are—that's the beauty of this whole thing, right?
Regardless, Banks needs to be at the top of the card, not stuck in another purgatory of inconsistent booking decisions with no direction.