Latest On Sasha Banks, Naomi's Statuses With WWE After Walk Out
By Jason Hall
May 20, 2022
WWE will reportedly not fire Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi amid their recent walk out in fear of them both signing with its top competitor, All Elite Wrestling, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer.
Meltzer cited a recent incident in which involving Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair during a live broadcast of SmackDown in which the two women's apparent real-life issues with each other led to an awkward, off-script exchange.
"If it was another time and place, it's very possible that they would have been fired, but it's this time and this place," Meltzer said during the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.
Earlier this week, Banks' husband, Sarath 'Mikaze' Ton, fired back at reports claiming his wife and her tag-team partner, were pulled from WWE live events following their walk out during RAW on Monday (May 16).
"The b******* being spewed is next level," Ton quote-tweeted in response to a post shared by Ringside News.
The bullshit being spewed is next level https://t.co/AV11ucXOEw— Sarath a.k.a Mikaze / Mr. Castle (@IamMikaze) May 18, 2022
Additionally, the website -- which has been called out by numerous wrestlers and fans in the past -- had reported that Banks "alienated everyone backstage" and "is not well liked" following her absence on Monday night.
Several of Banks' WWE colleagues, including Bayley, her longtime former tag-team partner, and Shayna Baszler, as well as former WWE stars Dax Harwood and Mia Yim, have publicly shared their support of Banks and Naomi on social media.
(WARNING: Some tweets shared below include coarse language)
“Remember…follow your heart, kid, and you’ll never go wrong”— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) May 17, 2022
There shall come a time far from now when our chapter itself is dying even as I am now dying.Then my sons I will list’n for your call from whatever realms of death hold me & come I shall-no matter what laws of life & death forbid. At the end I will be there. For the final battle. pic.twitter.com/pzI3Mvih40— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) May 17, 2022
Always, always, ALWAYS stand up for what you believe in. Fucking ALWAYS!!! pic.twitter.com/rPIuOm6XlT— Uncle Dax FTR (@DaxFTR) May 17, 2022
Banks and Naomi left during the live broadcast of RAW prior to their scheduled main event match following what the company claimed was a creative disagreement and not part of an on-screen angle.
"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," WWE said in a news release shared on its official website. "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."
Official WWE statement on Sasha Banks & Naomi https://t.co/TbehKPdAfD— WWE (@WWE) May 17, 2022
PWInsider initially reported Banks and Naomi's walkout during RAW's taping in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday, which was supposed to include both participating in a six-pack challenge match that also included Becky Lynch, Asuka, Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. to determine who would face Bianca Belair for the RAW Women's Championship.
Fightful Select reports Banks met with WWE chairman Vince McMahon and voiced her displeasure with the creative direction of the match amid ongoing issues with the company, but specifically denied WWE's claim that Banks and Naomi felt "uncomfortable in the ring with two of their opponents."
Naomi reportedly left with her tag-team partner despite being booked to win the match, according to multiple reports.
WWE made numerous references to Banks and Naomi's absence during its live RAW broadcast Monday night, which included color commentator Corey Graves referring to the women's tag team champions as having "unprofessionally" walked out.
The main event instead concluded with Asuka defeating Lynch in a singles match to become the No. 1 contender for Belair's RAW women's championship.
Banks and Naomi won the women's tag-team during Night Two of WrestleMania 38 last month, which is Banks' third reign, having previously served as an inaugural champion in February 2019 and again in May 2020, both alongside Bayley.
The 30-year-old has consistently been one of WWE's top female stars since debuting on its main roster in 2015, having won both the RAW and SmackDown Women's Championships a combined six times, as well as headlining Night One WrestleMania 37 with Bianca Belair, becoming the first Black women to jointly headline WWE's biggest annual event in history.
Naomi, a two-time SmackDown Women's Champion, has been a mainstay in WWE's women's division since debuting on RAW in 2012.