The Women’s Tag Team Champions refused to compete and walked out on this past Monday’s Raw show, handing their belts to John Laurinaitis, and leaving WWE having to change their planned main event of the evening.
It’s now being reported by PWInsider that plan for the show was for Banks and Naomi to be involved in several segments leading up to the six-pack challenge main event, where Naomi would go over. Booking her place to face Bianca Belair at next month’s Hell in a Cell for the Raw Women’s Championship.
WWE were then said to be planning to shoot an angle on this Friday’s SmackDown, where it would set up Sasha to face Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women’s Championship on the same show, and have both women lose their title bouts. Basically, having the Women’s Tag Team Champions put over the single titles.
PWInsider also suggests that an alternative was quickly made to the tag champs, but it’s not been confirmed if this had any factor in the walkout from Naomi and Sasha.
We are told that at some point during the day, likely after the initial concerns about creative were raised, there was an alternative idea that would have been Banks and Naomi have a short tag team match instead and be beat down after to set up a different program. One source cited their opponents would have been Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop but we have not 100% confirmed that to be the case.
It’s noted that the women’s issue wasn’t with losing the matches, but how both Banks and Naomi would be portrayed in the lead-up to the event, especially after they have put a lot of effort in building the team. Having both lose in singles matches would also downplay the Women’s Tag Team championships they are trying to elevate.
WWE quickly acted on the night, changing the planned six-pack challenge main event to Becky Lynch vs Asuka, which saw The Empress of Tomorrow grab victory and book her place as Belair’s opponent at Hell in a Cell.
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