Quinn McKay On ROH Not Having Any COVID Outbreaks During The Pandemic

On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with Ring of Honor host and wrestler Quinn McKay. McKay recalled being at a wrestling event in Barbados before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

"When we went to go to the show in Barbados, there were rumblings of COVID, but there wasn't any sure news about it," McKay recalled. "I'm pretty tapped into the news. I read Google News a lot more than I probably should. I like to mindlessly scroll the news instead of social media because it makes me feel slightly better about myself, but it's still doom scrolling. It's really not that much more beneficial, but I hadn't really heard about it at all, and then we touched back down in the United States.

"I remember we landed in Barbados, and they were taking our temperatures and it was really strange because they weren't doing that much in the States. And then we landed in the States, not even five days later, we go into Miami, which is one of the largest international hubs in the United States and nothing, just thousands of people packed together. There was no temperature checking. It was just completely normal, and then the whole country shut down three days later."

McKay made her ROH in-ring debut this year against Angelina Love, and Hausman asked McKay if the plan was for her to debut in 2020.

"I don't know what the hard and fast plans were for me involving the women's tournament because obviously, I was going to be involved, but I don't know if I was necessarily supposed to wrestle because those details were still being ironed out, and I think we were still releasing participants in the field in general," McKay noted. "Things in wrestling change all the time. You have no idea. It could be going one way and then the next it doesn't. So you kind of just don't take anything at face value or believe it until you're walking out to your entrance.

"I was really, really excited because we were having this huge women's division relaunch. That's kind of what I had been waiting for since I had gotten there. I was waiting for something, and I was like, 'Oh, this is it. This could be the moment, maybe this is the time.' And then nothing happened at all, but 2020 across the board was going to be an incredible year for Ring of Honor. I think we had a lot of big plans, but obviously, the thing that I was looking forward to most was the women's tournament, the Quest for Gold tournament. We had been hyping it up, and it was so exciting. It was gonna be a huge thing.

"I had so much belief that it was really going to put the Ring of Honor women's division back on the map, and then it just didn't happen. It took the wind out of our sails, but what I can say about Ring of Honor, throughout the course of the pandemic, they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and just kind of reassessed everything and attacked in a much different way. Getting back to the very scaled down sports-based presentation was huge for us and really set us apart from people that were able to have digital fans in the audience and stuff like that."

ROH Best in the World will be the first ROH event to welcome back live fans for the first time since the pandemic. McKay discussed the ROH Bubble that talent were put in.

"Ring of Honor has had our safety in mind first and foremost throughout this entire thing, and I think that the Maryland State Athletic Commission, who we work very closely with, has a lot to do with the way that we were able to come back and how successful it was because with us doing those bubbles, we never had a single COVID outbreak on the Ring of Honor roster," McKay pointed out. "It was amazing.

"So knowing that I worked for a company that values my life and my health that much was phenomenal because you were hearing about these outbreaks everywhere all the time, and it was just really great to not have to worry about that, but the bubbles in general, those were a 'fun' time. I say fun time sarcastically because the bubbles are not a fun time. There's no congregation. There's no secret meet-ups. It's just you in a hotel room for days by yourself. I played a lot of the Sims 4.

"I think another great thing about Ring of Honor during the pandemic is that we went dark but by doing that, for about three or four months ROH released archives and catalog footage. We created the Week By Week YouTube show, and so even though we weren't wrestling and creating in-ring content, all of our roster members, all of our stars, were still being able to tell stories and have a creative outlet, and get across their personality and what they were doing in the pandemic through the Week By Week series, and I think that was really important. And it gave the Ring of Honor fans and the Ring of Honor audience the opportunity to get to know a bunch of wrestlers in a way that they hadn't been able to before."

You can follow Quinn on Twitter @QuinnMcKay. You can find the full audio and video from Quinn's interview via the embedded players below:

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