As was reported earlier this week here on eWn, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of Monday’s episode of RAW during the broadcast.
Following this, Fighful Select have released a report on the backstage reaction to Banks and Naomi’s exit both inside and outside of WWE.
Firstly, it was noted that one member of the talent they spoke with stated that they frequently see criticism of WWE’s handling of their champions. They also acknowledged similar criticisms of the tag team division, the number of teams in the women’s division, as well as the booking of the women within the company. However, they stated that they see an increased amount of criticism when talents stand up on these matters.
However, a regular theme amongst many is that leaving a show that you were scheduled for, during the live broadcast as Sasha Banks and Naomi did, will likely result in you “getting buried throughout said show.” A longtime WWE talent pointed out how even “Stone Cold” Steve Austin left well before the show began when he infamously walked out on the company. The report notes that the mindset of various talents both inside and outside of WWE was, “not being happy with creative is fine, walking out is fine, but walking out during the show isn’t fine.” However, many of these talents were supportive of both Banks and Naomi’s frustrations, as well as the duo themselves.
One female talent reportedly indicated that they didn’t see anything in particular that was worth the pair leaving the show over. However, they understood the frustrations the pair had with creative.
Multiple talents outside of WWE reportedly enquired over the legitimacy of the duo walking out, voicing their initial concerns over whether the angle was a work. The general sentiment was that it took a lot of guts for the duo to walk out. Additionally, one female wrestler in another company was surprised that the pair would react in such a way to a creative situation, especially because of the amount WWE Superstars are paid.
Some talents also stated that comparisons of a wrestler to an acting role “aren’t quite the same.” This was based on how as an actor you know ahead of time how big your role will be, whereas in wrestling the quality of your booking can change at any point. As a result of this, they believed Banks/Naomi were within their rights to not be happy with their direction as a team.
Despite previous reports of Sasha Banks not being overly popular backstage in WWE, several talent said that was no longer the case. One talent stated Banks has been more “outgoing” since her return. One member of the staff also seemed to understand why the pair decided to leave, as past 8PM Banks was never going to be able to speak to Vince McMahon for a second time that night. This member of the staff had previously had issues with Banks, but as stated understood her reasoning.
With regards to WWE’s statement, one person close to the situation believed that the company decided to post it to pit talent against one another. But, they admitted this was a flawed logic as all talent involved would surely be quick to clear up any rumors about discontent with each other.
Finally, the report noted that they had not heard back from either Sasha Banks or Naomi.