In a change to the Raw main event on last night’s episode, it was reported both on-screen and off that Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of the arena and left the show. They were to take part in a six-pack challenge to determine the number one contender for the Raw Women’s Title. If that match took place, the winner was later reported to be Naomi. The match was changed last minute to Asuka vs. Becky Lynch with WWE stating that the Women’s Tag Team Champions left the building.
WWE provided its own statement of what took place which can be read by clicking here. Reports have come out since then debunking the validity of what WWE had issued.
Fightful Select has continued to clean up some of the differences and has talked about what they have found out. They confirm that this is not a work and is not part of any WWE storyline.
Per Fightful –
Contrary to other reports, it was reiterated to us by numerous sources close to the situation that while Naomi was scheduled to win, she was not to pin Sasha Banks as the match was pitched to the talent involved. In fact, according to those close to the match, it was being planned so Naomi and Banks were not supposed to attack each other during the laid-out match — which was the same for another tag team in Doudrop and Nikki ASH. Naomi was set to win on Raw, then lose to Bianca Belair at Hell in a Cell.
Based on WWE’s statement, it appeared that Naomi and Sasha Banks felt uncomfortable or unsafe working with two of the four women, which hadn’t made it back to those talents themselves until the statement was issued. On the contrary, we were told that the issue was about the creative surrounding the tag team championships and those being de-emphasized in the following weeks, with no laid out follow-up after Hell in a Cell. Sasha Banks and Naomi have been vocal about developing more stories within the tag team division.
Interestingly enough, we’re told that heading out of the weekend, a singles match was actually originally scheduled before it was changed to a six-pack challenge. There were several segments planned for the night’s show to set it up. When Sasha Banks and Naomi left, Vince McMahon was made aware at Gorilla that happened, and a segment was set up for Becky Lynch and Adam Pearce to turn the match into a singles. The six-way was scheduled to go three segments, the longest of anything on WWE Raw.
We’re told Vince McMahon decided to reference the incident and was feeding lines throughout the night, though we can’t be sure which lines directly came from him. There wasn’t any heat we heard on anyone delivering the lines, as it was widely considered a “just doing their job” type of thing from those we spoke to.
Petey Williams and Kenny Dykstra ended up being the producers for the Becky Lynch vs. Asuka match, though we can’t confirm if he was scheduled for the six-pack challenge. There was actually no producer internally listed for the six-way heading into the show.. Though Molly Holly was listed in other reports as relaying information between the two sides, she was tasked with actually producing the Alexa Bliss vs. Sonya Deville match. To establish this– there is zero confirmation that any of these producers specifically had conflict with Naomi or Sasha Banks, despite rumors online. There are many producers backstage in WWE. The situation was so hastily changing that there was no producer or referee internally listed on many of the revised run-sheets.
We have not been able to confirm reports that Sasha Banks was set to face Ronda Rousey, but will work on gaining more information on that.
To clarify, this isn’t a work and is not a part of the WWE storyline. Those that we spoke to backstage do not expect Sasha Banks and Naomi to be released, but nothing is a certainty.