As noted before, Sasha Banks and Naomi were involved in a backstage incident prior to the start of last week’s WWE RAW show. This incident revolved around Banks and Naomi walking out of the show due to backstage creative issues which resulted in WWE suspending the duo and stripping them of their Women’s Tag Team Championship as a punishment.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Banks and Naomi’s suspensions are without pay. Meltzer reported that due to the current structure of WWE contracts, WWE does have the right to freeze their contracts without informing them of this decision. It is currently not known if WWE has frozen their contracts but Naomi’s contract is still currently believed to be expiring in two months. In regards to Banks’ contract, Meltzer reported that it is currently not known when her contract expires.
In regards to Banks and Naomi’s merchandise being pulled from WWE’s online shop, Meltzer reported that those close to the situation stated that WWE officials made the decision in order to send a message to the locker room. Meltzer reported that the reason why Banks and Naomi’s merchandise was available for sale at WWE’s live events this past weekend was due to WWE tends to stock merchandise ahead of time for their house show events and did not bother to remove any of Banks nor Naomi’s merchandise.
In regards to the backstage locker room reaction over Banks and Naomi’s suspension, Meltzer reported that the general reaction towards Banks has been largely negative while Naomi was mostly viewed as someone supporting her friend but was not the catalyst of the incident. WWE’s locker room talent also reportedly were more supportive of WWE’s management’s side over the issue.
In regards to WWE’s announcement of a tag team tournament to crown a new Women’s Tag Team Champions, Meltzer reported that WWE officials have pitched several ideas with two involving a four-team tournament. One of those ideas involves a tournament featuring Natalya & Shayna Baszler, Tamina & Dana Brooke, Nikki ASH & Doudrop, and Carmella & Queen Zelina.