UPDATE 6/16/2022 12:25 am ET: Scott Ross Sapp of Fightful.com tweets: "We've been unable to confirm the Sasha Banks news as of yet. She's on the roster page, WWE reps haven't confirmed, talent relations hasn't issued anything to talent, and no internal memos have gone out yet. We'll keep digging to get an answer. If it happened, it's been quietly."
ORIGINAL REPORT: Nearly a month after WWE Superstars & Women's Tag-Team Champions Sasha Banks & Naomi walked out on a live edition of WWE Monday Night RAW over reported creative differences, reports have surfaced tonight that Banks has been released from the professional wrestling company. First reported by Wrestling Inc. founder Raj Giri, it's still not clear if Banks requested the release or if it was initiated by the WWE (as you can see from the tweet below). The news comes the same week that Banks went in for PRK eye surgery and on the same day that WWE CEO Vince McMahon found himself the subject of a The Wall Street Journal report (more on that below).
Here's a look at Giri's tweet from earlier tonight:
During the May 16th edition, Banks & Naomi reportedly walked out during an episode of WWE RAW reportedly over creative difference and the overall feeling that the WWE's Women's Tag-Team Division wasn't being respected. The match in question would've seen the tag-team champions having to compete against one another in a "Six-Pack Challenge" against Asuka, Becky Lynch, Doudrop, and Nikki A.S.H., with the winner facing Bianca Belair at the "Hell in a Cell" PPV event. The WWE would go on to indefinitely suspend both wrestlers without pay, issuing the following statement at the time:
When Sasha Banks and Naomi arrived at the arena this afternoon, they were informed of their participation in the main event of tonight's Monday Night Raw," said WWE. "During the broadcast, they walked into WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis's office with their suitcases in hand, placed their tag team championship belts on his desk, and walked out.
They claimed they weren't respected enough as tag team champions. And even though they had eight hours to rehearse and construct their match, they claimed they were uncomfortable in the ring with two of their opponents even though they'd had matches with those individuals in the past with no consequence. Monday Night Raw is a scripted live TV show, whose characters are expected to perform the requirements of their contract.
Earlier today, Laurinaitis' (known as "Johnny Ace" during his wrestling days) name was brought by The Wall Street Journal, which posted a report earlier today that the WWE board was investigating a $3M money settlement that McMahon paid a female paralegal over an alleged affair. Citing documents and sources familiar with the situation, the article claims that the January 2022 agreement was reportedly meant to prevent the woman from discussing her relationship with or from making critical statements about McMahon. For their part, a spokesperson for the WWE communicated that the company was working with the board during the investigation, and emphasized that the relationship between McMahon and the woman was consensual. Having started its investigation in April 2022, The WSJ also reported that the board found a number of nondisclosure pacts connected to misconduct claims from other women who had also worked for the company. The agreements in question not only involved McMahon but also Laurinaitis.