WWE is getting serious about COVID-19, but it probably should have happened long ago.
WWE took significant measures this week, but the days that preceded it were a mess, as reported by our Fightful Select service:
Upon news of numerous positive tests last Thursday, several members of the roster have contacted Fightful, with one even asking how many positive tests were rumored because "we'd know better than them." WWE wrestlers have not been informed of even an approximate number of tests, let alone who tested positive. This is a far cry from the first positive test three months ago in which WWE provided the name, how it was likely contracted, and an update on the individual via an internal memo.
Main Roster talent we've heard of are generally upset about the handling, with one saying that they'd also prefer if WWE had testing set post-tapings. Another was particularly concerned for Kayla Braxton considering the virus has re-emerged in her.
There were multiple NXT wrestlers who needed to be re-tested after "being exposed to somebody positive," but they tested negative. There was also concern and worry over a couple of small gatherings that took place among wrestlers, considering the rumored numbers are so high. We're told that it's across all kinds of departments, and despite last week's news, there were still some at the PC who were not required to come in for testing until last week.
NXT PC talent were sent a message last Thursday morning after 9 AM saying:
"Per Vince, ALL Talent are needed for TV on Friday & Saturday. Please go to PC by 10:30 AM TODAY for drive-through COVID testing. if you took test yesterday, you don't need to today. If you are in high level storyline, you will be off camera. Thanks. **IMPORTANT: after test, you will need to remain ISOLATED AND QUARANTINED until after the TV tapings."
Many talent missed that testing deadline and were awaiting a new location as of 5 PM EST.
We'd heard from several NXT and PC talent that were doing to skip this week's tapings after the second COVID test, then accelerated by the numerous other tests. However, they were urged to come in even after expressing that they weren't comfortable doing so.
As mentioned, friends and family will not be permitted at the tapings, but were told that it's possible they would be in the future.
WWE underwent more testing early in the week ahead of Great American Bash, with some wrestlers coming in very early for testing.
WWE has indicated that social distancing, masks, and other measures will be mandatory moving forward, saying " “As a reminder, wearing masks, sanitizing and social distancing will be required at the Performance Center this week and going forward. You'll be required to wear a mask upon entering and we ask that you adhere to these requirements in order to minimize risks.”
This report first ran on our premium service, Fightful Select. Subscribe to Fightful Select to gain access to exclusive news, and dozens of podcasts monthly, as well as supporting us directly. You can also check out exclusive news every Wednesday morning in the Fightful Wrestling Weekly.