Creative differences caused Sasha and Naomi to walk out on WWE Monday Night Raw after they didn’t agree with the booking for the advertised six-pack challenge main event. Naomi was scheduled to win, earning herself a title shot against Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. Those plans were nixed when Naomi and Sasha Banks were no longer available.
Jimmy Smith took to his Unlocking the Cage podcast to describe the scene on commentary. Smith emphasized that the situation was very real. Smith said making such a change in the middle of a live broadcast comes with a lot of complications.
“We sit back down and just a few minutes into the show, ‘Hey, big change. It’s Asuka versus Becky Lynch.’ Our whole show format, they all had six-woman tag in there, all of them. As we went through the show, they change those to Becky Lynch versus Asuka.
You don’t do that last minute, folks. You don’t voluntarily change something huge in the main event. All your graphics have to change. All your segments have to change. All your timing changes. Everything changes. You don’t do that, ‘Oh, because we felt like it.’ That does not happen.”
Most fans don’t think about the amount of technical work and planning that goes into producing live television. Jimmy Smith got a first-hand lesson on Monday night. It was a rare case where a real-life situation altered a major TV production.
Jimmy Smith was able to help steer the broadcast to its conclusion. In the end, Asuka defeated Becky Lynch to earn herself a title shot. What will happen with Sasha Banks and Naomi remains to be seen.
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