WWE had to make some quick changes after women’s tag team champions Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of the arena during the show’s airing. The main event on last night’s episode of Monday Night RAW was supposed to be a “Six Pack Challenge” to determine the challenger for WWE RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair at Hell In A Cell.
PWInsider first reported the news and WWE later confirmed the incident. WWE’s plan was for Naomi to win Monday night’s main event so that she would face Belair, but lose the match at Hell In A Cell on June 5. Sasha Banks was also set to lose to Ronda Rousey at Hell In A Cell for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Both Sasha and Naomi had concerns with the direction of their storylines and were uncomfortable with who their opponents would be. Apparently, Sasha Banks took her concerns to WWE CEO Vince McMahon. However, McMahon decided to stick to what WWE had already decided, prompting the stars to leave the arena. After the tag team champions left, WWE changed the main event into a match between Becky Lynch and Asuka to determine Belair’s challenger. Asuka won.
At this point it’s unclear whether Banks and Naomi leaving was part of WWE’s plan or if this was unscripted. Neither Sasha or Naomi have made statements since the incident. WWE posted an official statement on its website.
WWE’s Official Statement:
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.