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What Only WWE Fans Noticed About Sasha Banks On The Mandalorian

A reputation is a difficult thing to come by, especially when you work in an environment populated by living action figures. WWE star Sasha Banks (real name: Mercedes Varnado) is now pulling double duty in that regard, between her time in the ring and her new gig playing The Mandalorian's Koska Reeves, a member of Bo-Katan's band of beskar-clad killing machines.

Varnado's work on The Mandalorian is especially daunting from the perspective of a performer who wants to stand out. She spends most of her time in her character's debut episode wearing head-to-toe armor, but there's a good chance that fans saw through the blaster-resistant shell before her helmet came off, thanks to her particular brand of physicality.

Speaking with Screen Rant about her Star Wars premiere, Varnado discussed what she wanted to bring to the role, namely: badass wrestling choreography. "I really told them I wanted to do a lot of my wrestling moves, so my fans from the WWE would instantly know who I was underneath that helmet," she said when asked what she brought from the ring to the screen. If you didn't notice it the first time, it's worth rewatching her character's first big fight scene. The only thing it's missing is a referee handing her a belt at the end.

Sasha Banks brought the smackdown to The Mandalorian

Varnado went into some detail about the moves that she brought to her action sequences. "I came in with a dropkick, I give someone a fireman's carry, I give someone a back elbow, and I dive in — like only a WWE professional wrestler can do — and I save The Child, Baby Yoda. So, I brought all of that," she said.

Having a professional wrestler on set would definitely have its advantages when it comes to fight choreography, but Varnado also made sure to point out that it wasn't always her under the Mandalorian armor. Mentioning that her wrestling schedule had her working and traveling "six days a week," she made it clear that she didn't want to risk an injury that would take her out of the ring, and that The Mandalorian's production crew deferred to her judgement on what was and wasn't safe for her to do. "A lot of the (stunts) I did," she told Screen Rant, "but I got a double as well. Because again, I have to wrestle every single day. I didn't want to get hurt, and everybody supported me in that set. But if I saw something that I could do and wanted to do, they let me."

There's no word yet as to whether or not Varnado will make a repeat appearance before the end of The Mandalorian's sophomore season, but with any luck, we'll see Koska Reeves piledriving heathens in a galaxy far, far away sometime soon.