The professional wrestling community was shaken up when WWE suspended its Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi after walking out on a live taping for Monday Night Raw last week. Instead, the title strip was revealed on Friday Night SmackDown when veteran commentator Michael Cole said: “We will have a future tournament to crown the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.”
Cole explained further on the announcer’s table, saying, “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 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.”
It was reported that Banks had an issue with the outcome for the main event, wherein they would have joined the Six Pack Challenge with Asuka, Becky Lynch, Doudrop, and Nikki A.S.H. to determine Women’s Champion Bianca Belair at Hell in a Cell. She met with CEO Vince McMahon to express her concerns, but McMahon refused to change his plans, prompting her to leave the building with Naomi.
WWE confirmed that the former champions met with WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis “with their suitcases in hand, placed their tag team championship belts on his desk, and walked out.” Banks and Naomi won their titles over Carmella and Queen Zelina during the second night of Wrestlemania this year. It was the duo’s first win as a tag team – the first for Naomi individually and the third for Banks.
In their official statement, WWE said that Banks and Naomi felt they weren’t respected enough as tag team champions and were uncomfortable with two of their opponents. The company wrote: “Monday Night Raw is a scripted live TV show, whose characters are expected to perform the requirements of their contract.”
Following the walkout, Sasha Banks and Naomi were suspended indefinitely. Their merchandise was also pulled out from the WWE Shop and even the “Then. Now. Forever” graphic before each show. Despite the incidents, the former champions received much support from fans, wrestlers, and former WWE talents like CM Punk and Mickie James. However, it has been reported that the management doesn’t share the sentiments.
Sasha Banks and Naomi are yet to make their own statements.