Sasha Banks and Naomi walk out before Monday Night Raw TV taping, main event, booking, complaint

Two WWE stars walked out during this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw, upset with the planned main event, in a dramatic and seemingly not-in-storyline incident.

Women’s Tag Team champions Sasha Banks and Naomi were reportedly set to wrestle in a six-woman match for the number one contendership to the Raw Women’s Championship, currently held by Bianca Belair.

But PWInsider reports Banks “took issue with some of the planned creative” for the main event match, with some outlets claiming Banks was going to be pinned by Naomi.

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Banks met with WWE CEO Vince McMahon, who has the final say on all matters in the company, and but he would not change the planned result.

Banks “wouldn’t back down on her issues”, according to the report, and both she and Naomi left the taping.

The incident was mentioned on-air briefly with announcer Corey Graves stating the pair had “unprofessionally left the arena”.

Uncharacteristically, WWE acknowledged the backstage incident in a 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,” it read.

“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.”

The women scheduled to be in the match were Asuka, Becky Lynch, Doudrop and Nikki Ash.

Banks is one of WWE’s biggest stars, in terms of popularity, though she is not typically presented as such.

She has previously taken time away from the company with rumours of discord.

The incident is reminiscent of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin walking out on WWE back in 2002, angry that he had been booked to lose to Brock Lesnar on television with no build to the match, feeling it was being given away unnecessarily.

On this occasion Banks’ concern is more likely about whether they’re trying to break up her tag team with Naomi, having promised to spotlight them but not having done so.