Tonight’s RAW was a bit of a rollercoaster due to an apparent real-life situation going on backstage, the likes of which we really haven’t heard of in quite a few years. At the start of the show, it was announced that the main event would be a six-pack challenge with a future shot at RAW Women’s Championship held by Bianca Belair on the line. The match would involve Becky Lynch, Doudrop, Nikki A.S.H, Asuka, and Women’s Tag Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi.
Things got a bit sketchy when we saw Lynch backstage with Adam Pearce claiming that she saw Banks and Naomi walk out with their bags and that the match couldn’t happen. Pearce changed the match to Lynch vs. Asuka without much more explanation. Seeing all of this unfold as the show was going on live certainly isn’t the norm and especially not in today’s WWE.
During the broadcast, Corey Graves noted that Banks and Naomi were “usually professionals” and stated there had to be a reason for this. At this point, the whole thing almost seemed like an angle of sorts, but WWE has released the following statement to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com:
So we go from angle to out and out exposure of everything, from scripting and rehearsing to problems with working with their opponents. None of it is a good look for anyone involved, but moments like these make it feel like WWE wants to be sure no fans gets TOO involved in anything happening in the company.
As far as Banks and Naomi, well, this isn’t the first time Sasha Banks has had problems with the company, nor is it the first time there’s been an issue with a tag title reign of hers. Sasha took time off immediately after her tag title reign with Bayley ended and has openly addressed her unhappiness with the company at the time. Some may say Banks’ gripes have some ground, and we even posted an opinion piece on Banks deserving a bigger role at WrestleMania this year.
Naomi is somewhat of a surprise since A. she’s tied to The Bloodline via her marriage to Jimmy Uso and B. this tag title reign was one of the bigger pushes she’s gotten over the years.
Is walking out during a live broadcast enough for Vince McMahon to take more harsh action on the current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions? This doesn’t seem like an easy fix, especially for Banks who has even admitted to requesting (and being denied) her release in the past. A forthcoming announcement about the Women’s Tag Titles being vacated wouldn’t surprise me, but releasing these two top talents could also be on the table since Vince has pulled no punches in the past year when it comes to releasing talent.
This story will likely continue to unfold over the next few days.