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WWE legend William Regal has revealed that he went to bat for champ Sasha Banks – telling company chiefs they could fire him if she didn’t succeed there.
Banks is the reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion, this current tenure one of six she’s now enjoyed with the sport entertainment giant’s top two titles.
The self-styled Boss is adored by fans around the globe and firmly established as one of WWE’s megastars.
She’s set to be among the headliners for April’s WrestleMania extravaganza, yet it was Brit Regal who moved heaven and earth to ensure she could land a spot with WWE in the first place.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Star Online, the 52-year-old revealed he was impressed with Banks, now 29, from the off.
He said: “She was the first person I went to bat for to hire, because the people who were doing the job that I do now wouldn’t even give her the time of day.
“I’ve known her since she was 19 and she used to be an extra at Boston. The first day, I was in catering and she came and sat and said ‘do you mind if I ask you some questions about wrestling?’
“I wasn’t doing this job then but in the afternoon at the shows, I’d always be training outside the ring and she’d be one of the ones who would always come and talk.
“When it came to me getting this job… I went to them [about Sasha] and said ‘look, if this doesn’t work out, you can fire me.’
“To see the way she has come through this, and to see what she’s done [is] incredible.”
While Banks, who meets Bianca Belair on night one of WWE’s Show of Shows on April 10, is undisputed as one of the biggest players in the game, it’s clear it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
So changeable is the landscape there that Regal recalled a meeting with the former starlet some years after she’d gone on to make it big, and appeared to hand her a more than timely boost.
“I’m sure she doesn’t mind me telling you this,” he went on to say. “But there are times when this job gets to be a bit of a grind – any job does.
I don’t see her as much and we certainly don’t call and text one another, but I saw her a while ago, several years ago and I’d heard she wasn’t so happy.
“I said to her ‘how are you doing?’ She said ‘Alright’. I said ‘how many times have you been world champion? She said ‘Five…’
“I said: “And was the cheque in the bank on Monday?” and she just said “That’s all I needed, thank you very much!
“Just to see that she’s come through all this and become the star she has been very fulfilling.”
In the UK you can watch WWE present NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver over the course of April 7th and 8th, and WrestleMania across April 10th and 11th, all on WWE Network and BT Sport. Visit wwe.com for more.
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