Sasha Banks and Naomi notes
WWE officials are reportedly trying to smooth things over with Sasha Banks.
As we’ve noted, Banks and Naomi reportedly walked out of RAW at the May 16 show, due to frustration over creative. WWE then stripped them of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, and announced that the two were suspended indefinitely. It was later revealed that they were suspended without pay. Their merchandise was also pulled for the duration of the suspension. There has not been a lot of major updates since then, but Raj Giri of WrestlingInc, a reliable source, reported on Wednesday, June 15 that Banks had been released from her contract. No other details were provided, and it was noted that it was not clear if Banks requested the release, or if this was something from WWE’s end. However, WrestleVotes later corroborated the Giri report, noting that word going around behind-the-scenes at SmackDown was that Banks was released. It was also reported that Banks’ lawyers were working on her release in the lead-up, and had been working on it.
In an update, Giri posted an update on the Banks situation this week and noted that Banks’ release was secured on Friday, June 10. In regards to why WWE has not said anything about Banks’ release or removed her, the rumor going around is that WWE “leadership is trying to smooth things over,” to likely try and keep Banks with the company.
It was noted in this new report that Banks’ June 10 release “came from” WWE’s Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Talent Relations, Erika Schreiber. She is reportedly the person who signed off on the release.
It was also said that no one in WWE is saying Banks was not released, which is unusual after this many weeks into it. This is in line with an earlier report from June, which said sources in WWE were not denying Banks was released, just that they were not confirming it.
On a related note, PWInsider reported on Tuesday, hours before Giri’s update, that Banks and Naomi were still listed on the internal active WWE roster, as of Tuesday morning of this week. This report noted that there has been no change made internally to the status of Banks and Naomi since they walked out of RAW last month, and that neither have been officially released. It’s possible that the release hasn’t made it to other sources within WWE as officials are trying to smooth things over. Giri stands by his source and original report on Banks being released.
Banks and Naomi are still listed on the official WWE SmackDown roster page as of this writing.
After suspending Naomi and Banks indefinitely and without pay, WWE announced that a tournament would be held to crown new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, but there’s been no update on that tournament either.
Stay tuned for more.