The main event for the May 16 episode of Raw was originally slated as a heavy-hitting six-pack challenge to determine the number one contender for the Raw Women’s Championship. In that match was supposed to be Becky Lynch, Asuka, Nikki A.S.H., Doudrop, Sasha Banks, and Naomi. The winner would have gone on to face Bianca Belair for the title at Hell in a Cell.
As Raw is airing, a change to the match was made.
In a backstage segment, Lynch was seen trying to convince Adam Pearce to just make her the number one contender. She mentions that she saw Sasha Banks and Naomi walk out of the building and leave so therefore the six-pack challenge couldn’t go on as planned. Pearce would eventually adjust the plans and book Lynch vs. Asuka as the main event instead. The winner of that one-on-one match will become the number one contender.
Reports have come out by both PWInsider & Fightful that provides backstage news on the walkout by Banks & Naomi.
According to the reports, Banks was not satisfied with creative that was associated with the plans for the evening. Banks allegedly had a meeting with Vince McMahon and voiced her displeasure and wouldn’t budge on her stance. McMahon was also said to be unwilling to budge.
Fightful can’t confirm if Naomi was involved in the meeting but she and Banks left near the start of the show. Both reports state that several new segments such as Lynch’s talk with Pearce were added last minute to adjust for the new plan for the adjusted main event.
Fightful is confirming that it was Naomi who was supposed to win the six-pack challenge.
WrestleVotes adds the following –
WWE issued the following 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.”
Most recent update from Fightful –
The six-pack challenge was constructed to not have Naomi interact with Sasha or Doudrop coming in contact with Nikki A.S.H. in the match itself.
The working plan with the match was for Naomi to pin Nikki, not Naomi pinning Sasha which many people have speculated.
A close friend to the situation said that Naomi and Sasha didn’t claim that they didn’t want to work with Becky or Asuka, though that was implied by the WWE statement, and those were the two women referenced. Instead, Sasha and Naomi were angling to work with Nikki and Doudrop at Hell in a Cell. The talent themselves hadn’t heard that Sasha and Naomi considered anyone “unsafe” until the statement was released. WWE talent also got the statement in their internal talent relations app.
In regards to the pitch, the Nikki & Doudrop vs. Sasha & Naomi Hell in a Cell match was turned down, and there was a pitch to have them instead interfere in the Naomi vs. Bianca match which was also turned down.
Sasha and Naomi’s issues largely were concerns about the direction of their tag team and the division as a whole.
Diva Dirt will update if any further news comes from this report.