WWE stars Sasha Banks and Naomi walk out of Raw over issues with main event

WWE women’s tag team champions Sasha Banks and Naomi staged a shocking walkout on the most recent episode of Monday Night Raw.

According to reports, the pair arrived at the arena to news that they would take part in the main event. This was meant to be a six-pack challenge match, with the winner earning the right to face Bianca Belair for her Raw women’s championship belt at the end of May.

The New York Post stated that Banks in particular was concerned with the creative direction of the tag team champs. She voiced these issues in a meeting with Vince McMahon, who apparently refused to change their current narrative.

Interestingly, the pair had no problem with the wrestlers they were due to face in the six-pack challenge – clearly suggesting problems stemmed solely away from the ring.

As the drama unfolded during the show, commentator Corey Graves addressed the situation briefly and mentioned the pair leaving the arena numerous times.

“Sasha Banks and Naomi summarily and unprofessionally left the arena,” slammed Graves.

As a result of the walkout, Raw’s main event switched to a head-to-head contest between Asuka and Becky Lynch. Asuka took victory, meaning she will compete for the Raw women’s championship at the Hell in a Cell event.

Following Raw, the federation made a statement on the changes to the night’s main event.

WWE release statement on Naomi and Sasha Banks

WWE’s press release detailed the night’s drama. Firstly, organisers told the star duo that they were taking part in the main event. The statement then briefly explained their walkout.

“During the broadcast, they [Sasha Banks and Naomi] 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.”

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So, according to the federation’s side of the story, why did they leave?

“They claimed they weren’t respected enough as tag team champions,” read the statement. “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 requirement of their contract.”

These allegations of unprofessionalism drew criticism of WWE bosses from fans on social media.

Fans react to walkout

WWE viewers were quick to blast the federation for their handling of the situation. One Twitter user reminded others to hear both sides to the story before blaming Sasha and Naomi.

“Don’t take that WWE statement about Naomi and Sasha at face value or treat it as factual,” they warned. “That’s Vince’s side of the story. Sasha and Naomi haven’t had their chance to express their side of the story. This is disgusting from Vince [McMahon]. Keep issues like this internal.”

Another user expressed disappointment toward Vince McMahon over the walkout.

“This is extremely nasty work by Vince McMahon and WWE. Like, s**t that makes you wanna stop watching,” they tweeted.

Finally, a number of fans voiced their support for the two female wrestling stars.

“I stand with Sasha Banks and Naomi,” said one user simply.  

The pair’s future in the WWE is now the subject of rampant speculation. Banks and Naomi are yet to address their decision, so the length of their absence remains to be seen.

Featured image credit: Instagram/@sashabankswwe