Photo: Wrestling Inc.
WWE has gained a reputation for pointing its talents to the doors over the last couple of years. Still, recently the opposite happened when Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi decided to walk out of a live taping of last week’s Monday Night Raw.
The two champions were set to participate in a Six Pack Challenge against Asuka, Becky Lynch, Nikki A.S.H, and Doudrop to determine Women’s Champion Bianca Belair at the Hell in a Cell Pay-per-View. However, Banks and Naomi left the building after the former met with CEO Vince McMahon. She expressed her concerns about the match’s outcome, but McMahon was said to have refused to change his plans for the team, prompting the two-time Slammy Award winner to leave with Naomi.
WWE confirmed that the duo met with Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, leaving the championship belts on his desk before walking out with their suitcases in hand. The company released an official statement that the champions felt they weren’t respected enough and uncomfortable with two of their opponents in the ring.
“Monday Night Raw is a scripted live TV show whose characters are expected to perform the requirements of their contract,” wrote the statement.
During the taping for Friday Night Smackdown, veteran commentator Michael Cole revealed that Banks and Naomi were suspended indefinitely for their actions.
“Talk about what happened this past Monday night when Sasha Banks and Naomi let us all down. The WWE women’s tag-team champions walked off the show and walked out of the building during Monday Night Raw. They were supposed to take part in this—the main event. The 6-pack challenge where the winners would be next in line to face Bianca Belair for the RAW women’s championship,” he said. “However, Sasha and Naomi took the tag-team championships into the office of our head of talent relations, left them there and promptly walked out of the arena. Their actions disappointed millions of WWE fans and their fellow superstars.”
As a result, WWE will be holding a tournament to determine the next tag team champions of the women’s division. Banks and Naomi’s merchandise were also pulled out from the WWE Shop, while the “Then. Now. Forever” intro at the beginning of each WWE show saw them removed.
Sasha Banks and Naomi received plenty of support online from fans and wrestlers like CM Punk and Mickie James despite the incident. However, the former champions have yet to release their own statements regarding the situation.