WWE talent, production crew and employees were tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday after an unnamed developmental talent that was on site at the Performance Center last week tested positive for the disease.
The Coronavirus pandemic forced WWE to start taping all of their television at the Performance Center since this past March. WWE has been having everyone involved with the tapings undergo temperature checks and fill out a questionnaire. During a media call earlier this month, Triple H stated that the company had avoided COVID-19 testing due to the accuracy of the tests being questionable.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, there was a huge gathering at the Performance Center on Tuesday morning as talent and staff were tested for COVID-19 for the first time. Mojo Rawley posted a video on social media of himself taking the test through a nose swab. It was noted that the testing was disorganized at the start, but it appeared to have gotten better as the day went along.
PWInsider noted that most of the people that they had spoken to were concerned at some level about their health and spreading the illness to their families. Some talent were also upset that WWE had fans in attendance for Monday’s television tapings, as they were not informed that anyone outside the company would be in attendance. One person apparently said that they were only aware of the move when they went to the ring and saw older faces in the crowd, realizing that they aren’t developmental talent.
Wrestling Inc. first reported on Monday that the fans, some of who were friends and family of the wrestlers, adhered to temperature checks and signed waivers stating that WWE wasn’t liable if they contracted COVID-19 and that there could be inherent risk attending the event. However, since some of the people in the crowd were legitimate local fans, PWInsider noted that there is no true way to know or trace who they had been around up until they got to the taping, and what they had been exposed to if they had left and returned in between tapings.
WWE had issued a statement on Tuesday noting that social distancing guidelines were adhered to with at least six feet between parties, however there were segments where talent came through the crowd, like the Street Profits during their entrance or Dominick after he attacked Seth Rollins.
PWInsider noted that while some talent weren’t bothered with how everything went down, many others were said to be worried and/or upset. The feeling is that WWE needs to improve their communication with the talent and show more care for their performers as they are working during a pandemic while most other sports shut down.
WWE will be taping television today for next week’s RAW and SmackDown, as well as two episodes of NXT.