Sasha Banks

WATCH: Sasha Banks Claims Vince McMahon Wouldn’t Let Her Leave WWE, Talks Controversial Hiatus (VIDEO)

WWE SmackDown women’s champion Sasha Banks was the latest guest on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions (streaming on the WWE Network) to discuss a number of topics, including how she nearly left WWE due to a terrible bout with depression. Highlights from the interview can be found below.

Says she was not well when winning the women’s tag titles with Bayley:

At Elimination Chamber, I know how important that match was for Bayley, but at that time I still was slowly [going down] and not happy.

How she was dealing with a bad wave of depression that forced her to ask to leave WWE:

Depression. Depression was taking over. My mind was taking over. My thoughts were taking over. This place was being bigger than me. And I really, really lost myself because for a good seven years, I didn’t even hear my real name. I didn’t hear Mercedes anymore. All I heard was Sasha Banks, and traveling on the road, we only get one to two days off. So, I’m home, not even seeing what my real hair looks like. All I see is purple hair every single day. There were just so many things that were just — I let it control me. I let it take it and be like, ‘This is too much’ instead of being like, ‘You know what? Everything’s good. Breathe. Everything’s fine. I couldn’t even look at myself. I didn’t even know who the hell I was. How I was going into work, how angry I was going in, how sad I was. I was not the person that I dreamt to be. It hit the fan and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose myself. So I said, ‘You know what? I got to take a step away and find myself again and I gotta be brave about that.’ And that was probably one of the hardest things I had to do — ask to leave the WWE.

Says Vince McMahon would not let her leave:

I asked to leave and Vince was like, ‘no.’ He said no. He said I’m gonna give you 30 days to think about it. And I took more than 30 days.

(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)

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