It’s time for Sasha Banks to have an extended run as a WWE champion.
WWE has invested a lot into Roman Reigns’ current run. The Undisputed WWE Universal Champion is 600+ days into his current time on top. It’s one of the longest WWE championship runs in modern WWE, especially since viewers won’t hear about the WWE NXT UK runs of WALTER, Pete Dunne, and Kay Lee Ray. While that is another conversation, there’s another topic to discuss. It’s time for WWE to give Sasha Banks her own career-defining run as champion.
Yes, this is a conversation that comes up often. Sasha Banks has established herself as one of the top stars in the WWE. Her crossover appeal even trumps that of Roman Reigns, depending on what metrics are brought into play. She touches on demographics that WWE consistently struggles with when it comes to women, especially women of color. But before that part of the debate comes up, let’s focus on some of the data behind Banks’s run as champion as a part of the WWE main roster.
— Mercedes Varnado (@SashaBanksWWE) April 29, 2022
It’s well known that Banks hasn’t had a career-defining run as a champion like her peers in The Four Horsewomen. Her biggest fans often complain that she’s not given the same opportunities booked as the top name in the women’s division – even though that’s the type of support she commands. But that argument is even more apparent when looking at the data behind each of the four members of that power group.
Each of the four ladies are multiple-time champions. Charlotte Flair leads the way with 13 (counting only the Divas, Raw, Women’s, and SmackDown titles). Becky Lynch and Banks are tried for second with six each, while Bayley brings up the rear with three runs as champion. Where things get interesting is when you begin to dissect the time each of the women spent on top.
Breaking down the runs as WWE SmackDown, Raw, Women’s and Divas Champions
Aggregate totals for each of their combined title runs break down to the following. Flair has a combined 883 days as champion. Lynch is in second with 840. Bayley comes in third with 596, and finally is Banks with 283. Neither Lynch nor Bayley has experienced holding a title for less than 40 days. Flair leads in that category with six of her runs less than 40 days long. Five of the six times Banks has been champion, she held that title for less than 40 days.
Looking at those cumulative statistics tells a glaring story. When an individual is given an extended run as champion, it shows that the promotion has a level of confidence in that person as the face of the company, as a draw that fans want to see. So far, that has worked for Roman Reigns. Others like Brock Lesnar or John Cena are other examples. Look at names like Kenny Omega and Britt Baker as examples in AEW as well – individuals that were booked to remain at the top of the company as a sign of trust in their abilities and what they brought to the show when featured.
So, what has kept Banks out of that position for the WWE? That’s a difficult question to answer. Banks’ appeal has landed her major roles in shows like The Mandalorian, television commercial spots for big games, and even long before that, she was featured on various shows like Nick Cannon’s Wild’N Out. Her social media reach is in the millions, and her segments on television are proven attractions to keep fans watching. Once again, she wins in the metrics that should count when deciding who to book as a top name with an extended run as champion. Banks checks all the boxes, but she still hasn’t seen that career-defining run.
WWE knows they have a star in Sasha Banks, whether they want to acknowledge that fact or not. The company needs to find an opportunity to put her front and center as the top name in the women’s division for an extended period before she becomes that “part-timer” that fans claim they despise. As more powerful entities in entertainment recognize her drawing power, it’s only a matter of time before they come calling for The Boss and WWE will be without one of its more important stars.