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WWE Suspends Sasha Banks, Naomi Indefinitely After Raw Walkout; Tag Titles Vacated

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 21, 2022

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

WWE has suspended Sasha Banks and Naomi after the duo walked out of Monday Night Raw earlier this week due to reported creative differences.

WWE commentator Michael Cole made the announcement live on SmackDown Friday.

WWE @WWE

Sasha Banks and Naomi have been suspended indefinitely. There will be a future tournament to crown the new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. <a href="https://t.co/8xhJe0l5bV">pic.twitter.com/8xhJe0l5bV</a>

In addition, Banks and Naomi's WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship titles have been vacated.

WWE initially released a statement on the matter Monday following an inquiry from Mike Johnson of PW Insider and said that the tag team champs walked into WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis' office, placed the belts on his desk and left during the broadcast:

B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling

Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out on tonight’s Raw after Banks had issues with “creative ideas pitched,” per <a href="https://twitter.com/PWInsidercom?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PWInsidercom</a><br><br>WWE issued a statement afterwards <a href="https://t.co/c7PZc3K4KL">pic.twitter.com/c7PZc3K4KL</a>

Banks and Naomi were scheduled to take part in a "six-pack challenge" match to decide the No. 1 contender for Bianca Belair's Raw Women's Championship. After Banks and Naomi left, the match became a singles bout between Asuka (the eventual winner) and Becky Lynch.

Fightful Select reported WWE planned for Naomi to win that initial six-woman bout and face Belair for the title at Hell in a Cell.

Fightful Select also reported Banks and Naomi's concerns were in relation to the direction of the women's tag team division as well as concerns about facing "unsafe" opponents.

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported Banks in particular is now receiving "a lot" of backstage heat after Monday.

In addition to all that, ex-WWE writer Kazeem Famuyide said on The Ringer's Masked Man Show that he heard Banks and Naomi's contracts were set to expire within the next two months:

"What happens if their contracts just run out while they’re doing this? I don’t know. There’s so much unspoken, there’s so much unknown with this situation that I don’t want to be that person who’s just irresponsible, just spewing things recklessly like people tend to do … I’m just saying what I know, and you do with that information what you will.”

Ultimately, this is an incredibly messy situation for everyone involved and one that doesn't appear to be close to being resolved any time soon.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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