William Regal has recalled what it was like when he first recruited Sasha Banks to work for WWE while also having to convince others in the company that Banks was going to be a star.
In the early 2010s, William Regal was a key part of WWE because he was a valuable talent recruiter. That meant going to wrestling shows all over the world, talking to the talent and trying to see if they are a good fit for the company. Regal also had a role on-screen in NXT when he was the General Manager of WWE’s developmental brand.
Sasha Banks started wrestling when she was a teenager. In August 2012, she attended a WWE tryout camp and was signed to a contract when she was just 20 years old. In February 2015, Banks won the NXT Women’s Title for the first time.
Banks was moved to the WWE main roster in July 2015. During her main roster WWE career, Banks is a five-time Raw Women’s Champion, a one-time Smackdown Women’s Champion and she is also a three-time Women’s Tag Team Champion. Banks walked away from WWE in May 2002 along with fellow Tag Team Champion Naomi when they were frustrated by the company’s creative direction.
Regal spoke about meeting Banks for the first time on a recent episode of his “Gentleman Villain” podcast.
“When I first met her, she was either 18 or 19 and it was in Boston. I was in catering and she was an extra. She asked to come and sit with me and ask questions more than once. I’d help anybody, so I just answered whatever questions she had, and whenever I saw her, same thing.”
As Regal continued to talk about Banks, he remarked that certain people didn’t see the potential in Banks that he saw, but he knew there was something special.
“Long story short, there came a time when she had a tryout and there were certain people in certain positions who didn’t see anything in her. I just knew that there was something special, but I knew it was going to take a few years…I actually said ‘If this doesn’t work out, then you can take my job away from me.’ …I just knew she’d be an incredible, good, talented professional and it worked out, I think.”
Regal can be seen regularly on AEW television as the manager/mentor for the Blackpool Combat Club.
There continue to be rumors of Banks returning to WWE following her May 2022 walkout, but nothing has been confirmed in terms of when she might be back. Recently, Banks shared some photos from when she was training for a potential return to pro wrestling.
H/T WrestlingInc for the transcription.