WWE Monday Night Raw went through some major changes on the fly last night. The originally-scheduled six-pack challenge to determine the next challenger for Bianca Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship had to be switched when Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out on the show. That left two of the competitors completely out of the match.
The original plan was for Sasha Banks, Naomi, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Doudrop, and Nikki A.S.H. to compete for a shot at Belair’s title. Once Sasha and Naomi left the arena, things were up in the air. WWE decided to go with a singles match between Becky Lynch and Asuka to determine a new #1 contender.
On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer talked about the reason for WWE dropping Doudrop and Nikki from the bout. Dave noted that given the late notice, it made more sense to present a singles contest. Becky and Asuka already had a match ready that they have been working during recent house shows.
“There’s going to be heat in the sense that they walked out as the show was going on. The show opened, they announced the main event, and then, whatever it was, 45 minutes into the show, they just sort of said, ‘Oh, Naomi and Sasha Banks left,’ and there’s no explanation, no even attempt at an explanation why the other two women, Nikki and Doudrop, were taken out other than, I would guess the idea is at that late of a notice…
They knew Asuka and Becky Lynch have been working matches. Not a lot, but they worked at the house shows already. I think they worked two matches this weekend. So they were ready. They have a match ready. I know some people were just like, ‘Oh before people would show up five minutes before the match and be able to do it,’ but you know, it’s a four-way and they wanted to be safe. I don’t really know, given that with Naomi out and the decision, that Asuka was going over, I don’t know that Nikki and Doudrop add anything to the match anyway, so it was probably in that sense.
It weakens the match in a main event situation and the direct singles match is a better match to main event the show. At that point, that was probably the best way to go. They were probably in there to do the job or shoot an angle or something like that that wasn’t really necessary anymore.”
It is unfortunate for Nikki and Doudrop, but WWE made what they thought was the best decision. It will now be Asuka vs Bianca Belair for the title. What happens with Sasha Banks and Naomi remains to be seen.
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Transcription by Ringside News