Sasha Banks and Naomi made headlines this week by walking out of the Raw tapings. WWE has released a statement on the matter.
More details have emerged regarding the story of Sasha Banks and Naomi walking out of last night’s edition of WWE Raw.
As previously covered here, multiple reports stated that the Women’s Tag Team Champions walked out ahead of Raw because of creative frustration. Apparently, the initial planned main event was a Raw Six-Pack Challenge to decide the challenger for Bianca Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship.
Banks was reportedly unhappy with the plans for the match, which led to her leaving the taping. Naomi decided to walk out as well, and Raw commentator Corey Graves even acknowledged it during the show. In the main event, Asuka defeated Becky Lynch to become the new No. 1 contender for the Raw Women’s Championship.
During the show, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com shared a statement that he received from WWE. The statement claims that the Women’s Tag Team Champions were carrying suitcases when they entered the office of John Laurinaitis.
Banks and Naomi placed their title belts on his desk and “walked out”. According to the statement, that and Naomi “claimed they weren’t respected enough as tag team champions.” WWE offered “regret” for not being able to perform the planned main event. You can read the full statement below:
When Sasha Banks and Naomi arrived at the arena this afternoon, they were informed of their participation in the main event of tonight’s Monday Night Raw.
During the broadcast, they walked into WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis’ office with their suitcases in hand, placed their tag team championship belts on his desk, and walked out.
They claimed they weren’t respected enough as tag team champions. And even though they had eight hours to rehearse and construct their match, they claimed they were uncomfortable in the ring with two of their opponents – even though they’d had matches with those individuals in the past with no consequence.
Monday Night Raw is a scripted live TV show, whose characters are expected to perform the requirements of their contract. We regret we were unable to deliver, as advertised, tonight’s main event.
After walking out during WWE RAW this week, Sasha Banks has backstage heat, according to Dave Meltzer on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio.
These feelings were passed on from people not in WWE management, but they also weren’t aware of the full situation going on. Naomi’s name was not mentioned, so it is unknown whether or not there are the same feelings towards her right now.
Since then, Sasha Banks has unfollowed all WWE-related social media accounts, including Vince McMahon. Meanwhile, a friend of Naomi’s has tweeted at length about the issue, citing creative as the problem here. Naomi was set to win the match that last night and face Belair at Hell In A Cell.
She was going to pin Nikki A.S.H. to achieve that goal, not Sasha, as had been speculated. It is believed that they wanted to focus on improving the tag team division instead. Neither woman reportedly had any safety concerns about their opponents, despite what WWE claimed.
There has yet to be a confirmed reason for why they left the show, and the exact issues that have taken place. Neither Sasha Banks nor Naomi has made a comment on the matter at the time of writing.