Buying or Selling Red-Hot Sasha Banks' Recent Resurgence over the Long Term
Sasha Banks is one of the few WWE Superstars flourishing during this era of audience-less shows.
Not exactly a shocker.
While The Legit Boss has a partner in crime in the form of Bayley, it's no surprise she's stepped into the void left by Becky Lynch's departure and morphed into a show-hopping, main-eventing and title-holding must-see act.
With SummerSlam—WWE's second-biggest show of the year—approaching, all eyes are on Banks, and a few key questions emerge: Can she keep it up? Is a split with Bayley on the way anytime soon?
It sure feels like The Boss will provide plenty of answers over the summer.
What's the Shelf Life?
Here's one question that applies to all top Superstars at every turn these days: How long until fans get tired of the act?
Banks is crushing everything she does right now—with Bayley or otherwise. She's slapping through the competition on SmackDown, putting on borderline classics on NXT with the likes of Io Shirai and heading to Extreme Rules with a chance at one of the promotion's top titles in a match against Raw women's champion Asuka.
But how much is too much?
It's a brutal thing to attempt to gauge in the world of audience-less shows. Banks has been show-hopping and performing in main events at an impressive clip.
Unfair or not, that sort of work rate has soured fans on certain acts quickly in recent years; think about someone like Seth Rollins. But there's a catch with this sort of idea: If the talent is entertaining enough, there isn't much to worry about in this arena.
And in Banks' case? She's more than skillful enough to keep things fresh. Unless she settles into doing the same thing every week, there's no reason to believe 2020 can't be the year of The Boss.
Few WWE Superstars have benefited from the outside stressors placed on WWE that have resulted in talents taking hiatuses and shows taking place without audiences.
But Banks is one of the few exceptions. While the big tag team title win with Bayley on SmackDown would have made for an impressive pop in front of a packed stadium, she's otherwise only benefited from the circumstances.
With names such as Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns missing, The Boss has effortlessly slid into a leading role and had a chance to prove she's one of the best in the company. Not that we didn't know it before, but she was usually stuck hot-potato-ing titles with Charlotte Flair and otherwise hanging around the midcard.
The tag team titles are an interesting thing on Banks too. She undoubtedly deserves gold, but more interesting is the fact that WWE is using them as a plot device to get her on every show possible, NXT included.
And that's a good thing. It's a clear signal WWE is awakened to the fact that Banks is a headline attraction who is doing nothing short of excelling during an odd time.
SummerSlam and Breakup Possibilities
Here's where things get fun with Banks: The endless possibilities.
The mixture of The Boss as a title contender at the top of the card and her long-running friendship with Bayley makes for a brutal concoction of intrigue.
One could argue WWE could easily print money with a friendship breakup in the near future if it's done well enough. Having the two run roughshod over the tag team division will wear thin with viewers eventually.
The things that could create faultlines for the friendship between Banks and Bayley aren't hard to see, either.
Say Banks beats Asuka at Extreme Rules to win the Raw women's title. Sure, they could go on power-tripping together over both rosters for some time. But imagine if Bayley got jealous and suspicious of her friend suddenly being on her level. Or consider The Boss could suddenly kick her partner in crime to the curb.
Those are brief ideas that could headline shows—and the biggest pay-per-view of the summer. At some point, the tag titles figure to leave the equation, potentially leaving room for a split and a one-on-one title match.
If not at SummerSlam on Aug. 23, Banks and the two as a whole seem to have plenty of momentum to keep going through these strange times. But it's the next big thing on the calendar to circle in red ink, making the upcoming weeks must-see programming.
Buy. Buy. Buy.
Banks has always had the feel of a top Superstar who could have a Becky Lynch-sized role if WWE decided to make it happen. She's elite in the ring, can outwit most peers on the mic and has character work on both ends of the spectrum only a select few can put out consistently.
Given her show-hopping nature of late, it's clear WWE sees the writing on the wall too. Even with The Man gone, the company has an incredibly deep women's roster.
Yet it is Banks moving the needle on ratings and captivating audiences more than arguably any Superstar on the roster for either division.
Some of it is the allure of when the seemingly inevitable break with Bayley might happen, sure. But most of it is just The Boss being that good. It feels like WWE has something special budding here, especially if she ends up getting a lengthy solo title run and running with it in a creative manner.
Banks is a good example of how fast things can change. It feels like yesterday when speculation about her leaving the company ran rampant. Now she's running the company, and it feels like there's no endpoint in sight—and that's great for everyone.