Three years ago, WWE made history when the first Women’s Royal Rumble dropped on the wrestling world like a Macho Man flying elbow, instantly lifting the sport’s glass ceiling.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were the first to enter the ring in that inaugural event, before nearly two dozen WWE Superstars one by one took to the ring. The Boss fought and battled for nearly an hour, making it to the Rumble Final Four before being tag-team tossed over the top rope by Nikki and Brie Bella.
Three years later, Banks now Smackdown World Champion, gets to watch from ringside Sunday’s WWE Royal Rumble 2021, as the WWE’s top women battle for this year’s title. And despite history being made in 2018, when Asuka won the first Rumble, Banks says not a lot has really changed.
“We just keep on doing the same. We’ll keep on growing,” Banks says of the WWE women. “I’m just walking in as the champion, more confident than ever … and I get to sit back and watch these 30 incredible women had a fight for the spot to face me. I don’t need no extra hype for that.”
On Wednesday, Banks, along with last year’s Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair, Natalya, and Mickie James will discuss the groundbreaking Women’s Royal Rumble Match during a roundtable televised on WWE Network. “We get to talk and reminisce for the original Royal Rumble,” Banks says. “It’ll be super to go back and recall that magic we created that night. I get to sit down with the legends.”
In addition to the Women’s Royal Rumble, held this year at Fort Lauderdale’s Thunderdome at Tropicana Field, WWE Royal Rumble will also feature Daniel Bryan headlining the men’s Rumble. Also entered in the packed lineup include Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Otis, Jey Uso, Cesaro, Jeff Hardy, and Sami Zayn.
Also on the card, champion Roman Reigns defends his Universal championship against Kevin Owens, as well as WWE champion Drew McIntyre putting his belt on the line against WWE legend Goldberg.
Along with her title reign, the 2021 version of Sasha Banks, she says, is bigger faster and stronger, thanks to the work put in with trainer Marcus Steele. She’s also added a new element to her regimen, yoga and meditation, which made her more tranquil but far from less confident and Banks says this year’s competitors got a break with her out of this year’s Royal Rumble.
“If was in the Royal Rumble right now, I’d be throwing out all these girls,” Banks says. “My strength is so much more my conditioning. I just really feel like this year, I’m even more on top of my game.”
Banks success has also led to other dreams being fulfilled, including her role on the Disney Network smash hit The Mandalorian” (“I always had a big dream of being more and bigger than just the WWE, and that’s what I’m doing,” she says). As both WWE champion and veteran Banks is now in a position to offer advice to other women wanting to make their dreams a reality in WWE.
“I tell anybody, if you have a dream, go after it with everything in your heart, and most importantly, you have to have fun and you have to do it for yourself,” she says. “You can’t do it for anybody but yourself. That’s what I tell everybody.”