WWE statement on Sasha Banks & Naomi
As we’ve noted, it was reported by multiple sources that Banks was upset with WWE creative plans at tonight’s RAW, so she met with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon to vent her frustration. After Banks and McMahon reportedly refused to budge on their stance, Banks walked out of the Scope Arena, and Naomi followed. Banks was reportedly not happy with the original planned RAW main event, which was a Six-Pack Challenge to determine the WWE Hell In a Cell opponent for RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. The match was to feature Banks, Naomi, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Nikki A.S.H., and Doudrop, and the winner was reportedly scheduled to be Naomi. WWE ended up mentioning how Banks and Naomi left RAW, then shot angles to set up Lynch vs. Asuka in the main event. That match saw Asuka get the win to become the new #1 contender to Belair. You can click here to read our full report from earlier.
In an update, WWE issued a statement in response to media inquiries tonight and claimed that Banks and Naomi approached WWE Talent Relations head John Laurinaitis to complain about how they were treated. The statement further claims that Banks and Naomi were uncomfortable in the ring with two of their planned opponents in the Six-Pack Challenge, and that they handed over their WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles to Laurinaitis, then walked out.
WWE’s full statement reads like this:
“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.”
It’s interesting to note how WWE said Banks and Naomi approached Laurinaitis during the RAW broadcast, while other sources have said they left before RAW hit the air or as it was going on the air.
We noted before how it was acknowledged on RAW that Banks and Naomi left RAW during a segment to set up the Asuka vs. Lynch main event. Corey Graves also referenced the situation on commentary as he said they “unprofessionally” left.
There’s no word yet on what’s next, and if this is just one big storyline, or what will happen to the WWE Tag Team Titles, but we will keep you updated.
Stay tuned for more.