The talk of the wrestling world this week has been the backstage events that transpired at this past Monday's WWE Raw, where the Women's Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Naomi disagreed with plans for that night's main event they were to be featured in and the plans going forward and as such, handed over their title belts and walked out of the show.
While WWE was quick to release an unprecedented official statement that night explaining their side of the story and slamming the behavior of Banks and Naomi, they didn't include any explanation for how they would be handling the two talents going forward. This changed during last night's WWE SmackDown on FOX, where live on-air, Michael Cole explained that Banks and Naomi have been stripped of the titles (Duh! There's your classic "you can't fire me cause I quit!" response) and have also been "suspended indefinitely" by the company.
Eagle-eyed fans also noticed that in addition to vacating the Women's Tag Team Titles and suspending the now former Champions indefinitely, WWE also took to their online store as an additional response by immediately removing any and all Sasha Banks and Naomi merchandise that was previously available for fans to buy from the site. If there's one thing Vince McMahon has learned over his many years, it's if you really want to hurt someone, hurt them in their wallets.
So while such a grand gesture of displeasure from a WWE superstar is certainly attention-grabbing, it's far from the first time we have seen a situation like this happen. Probably the most well-known similar occurrence happened in 2002 when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin no-showed Raw when the company inexplicably wanted their biggest star in history (and still their top draw at the time) to lose to a then-rookie Brock Lesnar in an unadvertised King of the Ring qualifying match. While most fans and veteran wrestlers were and still are on Austin's side in that situation, WWE at the time (similarly to this) infamously responded by repeating the phrase "Austin took his ball and went home" until the two sides made up and Austin returned at the 2003 No Way Out Pay Per View event.
So can and will WWE and Banks & Naomi all make amends and the two stars return to the company? Of course! This is the wrestling business and when there's money to be made, all things are forgiven. But as of right now, the wounds appear very fresh and I don't think we've seen the end of this quite yet. After all, we haven't even officially heard from the two superstars in question and something tells me that when we do, that'll make everything much more interesting.