It had been previously reported that Sasha Banks and Naomi left the arena before the beginning of Raw going live on the air. The duo were reportedly unhappy with the creative direction of their characters and did not participate in the scheduled 6-pack challenge main event.
According to a report from PWInsider, the original plan for the main event was to have Naomi pin Banks to earn an opportunity against Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship. The conceived storyline idea was that Naomi would then go to Hell In A Cell and lose to Belair. Some believe that at this week’s Smackdown, an angle would have also been shot for Sasha Banks to wrestle and lose to Ronda Rousey at the premium live event.
At some point during the day, likely after the initial concerns about creative were raised, an alternative idea was pitched that would have seen Banks and Naomi have a short tag team match instead and be beaten down after setting up a different program. One source cited their opponents would have been Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop.
Shortly before Raw, Banks and Naomi were informed by WWE Producer Molly Holly that they were going with the Six Pack Challenge direction with Naomi going over. As a result, they informed John Laurinaitis they were leaving, leaving the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship belts behind.
Some believe that the creative issue was not with Banks losing to Naomi. It was how the duo would have been portrayed over the next several weeks, especially after putting so much time into building their team. However, they were going to wrestle each other and put over other talents, which was the crux of the issue. The WWE plan looks to have been that the Women’s Tag Team Championship would have been downplayed until their next program after Hell In A Cell concluded.
WWE’s statement and Corey Graves’ comments on Raw about the duo being unprofessional sound like someone from WWE’s legal department laid it out. This builds the foundation for an argument that Banks and Naomi had potentially breached their WWE contracts, putting the company in a position where they couldn’t deliver their advertised main event. The comments on Raw about the duo being unprofessional came off as if they were dictated by Vince McMahon himself.
The report states that this incident is legit and is not a work. As of this morning, Banks and Naomi remain on WWE’s active roster internally. It is unknown when they will be back on WWE television and what the status of the Women’s Tag Team Championships is.
We will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as they become available.
There are two ways to look at this: the first is that the two were simply sticking up for themselves as they felt like they were losing their position in the company, while the other is that they were independent contractors that simply did not do what they were asked to do. Once again, I will reserve my comments until we get everyone’s side of the story. Everything is just speculation at this point.
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