Exclusive interview: Banks has continued the legacy of ‘Latino Heat’ 14 years after his passing.
One of the biggest names in WWE, Sasha Banks, has spoken about one of the continued driving forces in her career.
The 27-year-old, WWE’s self-styled ‘Boss’, is currently one half of the Women’s tag team champions.
As a pioneer and a huge part of the women’s revolution in sports entertainment, Banks is adored by millions around the world.
She has, however, never made secret about one of her greatest inspirations – the late Eddie Guerrero.
Guerrero was a former WWE Champion, who tragically died in 2005, aged just 38, after suffering heart failure.
A charismatic veteran of almost two decades, ‘Latino Heat’ is still very fondly remembered by stars and fans alike – not least Banks.
The Independent spoke to the Monday Night Raw star with just two weeks to go until Wrestlemania – where she and her partner Bayley will defend their gold.
Banks has never made a secret of the part the El Paso-born former WCW wrestler played in shaping her own life, but did so emotionally once again this week as she looked to ahead to one of the most historic moments of her stellar career.
“Vickie [Guerrero – Eddie’s wife] has been nothing but amazing to me, her and her family,” Banks told The Independent.
“She once actually gave me a pair of Eddie Guerrero’s tights, and she has absolutely no idea what that means to me!
“I just hope that I am just making Eddie and his name proud. I am not related to them, but he had a huge impact on my life.
“I wouldn’t be here as a person if it wasn’t for Eddie Guerrero.
“It’s cool to see, when I do autograph signings, people actually get me to sign things of Eddie, yet there are a lot of people who’ve never seen an Eddie Guerrero match.
“We talk about it and they want to go and watch and that makes me over the moon… I want everyone to know how amazing he was and how much of an influence he was on my career.”
Being one half of the maiden Women’s Tag Team Champions is no honour under which Banks is likely to shirk or buckle.
She’s has made a career out of featuring in defining moments as one of WWE’s incredible female line-up.
Wrestlemania is shaping up to be another night of such moments, taking into account Banks’ outing, and following the news this week that a women’s match will, for the first time ever, main event the marquee show.
Two of Banks’ best friends, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, will meet Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship in a triple-threat match.
“I’m very proud,” added Banks, reflecting on the announcement that her colleagues will close out the extravaganza.
“It’s cool to see the women you started with get this dream.
“I think it’s all of our dreams about to happen and I am more than happy for all of them.”