WWE News

Backstage Reaction To Raw Walkout And More

WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks & Naomi

Following Sasha Banks’ and Naomi’s stunning walkout during Monday Night Raw, a new report has offered an insight into the reaction backstage.

Despite the in-ring action and two huge matches being set for WWE Hell In A Cell on June 5th, the May 16th episode of Monday Night Raw will always be remembered for two stars who didn’t even appear on television.

During the show, Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out, despite being advertised as part of the six-pack challenge set to take place in the main event. This caused the main event to be quickly reorganised, with Becky Lynch shown lobbying Adam Pearce to get the match changed to a singles bout between herself and Asuka.

In storyline, her plea worked, although Lynch was defeated by Asuka as the show went off the air.

While the show was in progress, WWE released a statement claiming that the pair weren’t comfortable in the ring with two of their opponents, and felt their Women’s Tag Team Titles were being disrespected. Meanwhile, Corey Graves slammed the pair as “unprofessional” on commentary.

Speaking on the PWTorch VIP show, Wade Keller has attempted to shed some light on the chaotic situation. Keller notes that the overriding feeling backstage was confusion, with people left shaking their heads.

“I will say, the people I’m communicating with’s instinct is they’re puzzled and they say the locker room and management are puzzled by the reaction and the actions of Sasha and Naomi. It feels weird, I’m told, how this all played out. People are just kind of shaking their heads. The instinct with the people that I’m communicating with is Sasha overreacting to a normal day at work and having been kind of worked up heading into today over some things that might not be all that worth getting worked up over.”

He added that there “wasn’t a ton of sympathy” for the pair immediately following their exit.

“They’re paid to play a role on TV and WWE said that… Behind the scenes, there’s not a ton of instant sympathy or a thought of like ‘finally they took a stand’ over this injustice that was going on. It’s more like ‘what, where did that come from and how did they get themselves so worked up over this?'” H/t WrestlingNews

Elsewhere, a new report from Fightful Select offered more details on how the situation actually came to head, including the potential cause of the disagreement.

The report explains that the plan for the six-pack challenge was that Naomi would win, but she wouldn’t be pinning Banks to do so, despite reports to the contrary. In fact, the two women weren’t scheduled to attack each other during the match at all. After Naomi’s win, she would have lost to Bianca Belair at Hell In A Cell.

Despite WWE’s statement alleging that the team weren’t comfortable working with two unnamed women, Fightful reveal that a source claims the disagreement was due to creative, and how the Women’s Tag Team Titles would have been presented after Hell In A Cell. It’s noted that there wasn’t a plan for the belts.

In addition, Vince McMahon was feeding lines to commentary about the incident all night, but it is unclear as to which comments came directly from the WWE Chairman. Both Fightful and PWInsider report that McMahon was made aware that Banks and Naomi had left while sat at the gorilla position.

There is said to be no heat on anyone who delivered the lines offered to them by Vince McMahon.

Petey Williams and Kenny Dykstra produced the main event, although no producer was listed before the changes to the match were made. Although it has been reported that Molly Holly was relaying information between the two sides, there is “zero confirmation” that any of these producers specifically had conflict with Naomi or Sasha Banks.

There is also no confirmation regarding speculation that Banks was due to face Ronda Rousey at Hell In A Cell.

However, Fightful are emphatic in commenting that the incident is not a “work” or part of a storyline. Despite this, figures backstage do not expect either woman to be released, although nothing is certain.