WWE has issued a statement confirming that they will continue COVID-19 testing for the foreseeable future: “WWE will continue COVID-19 testing of its talent, production crew and employees in advance of TV productions for the foreseeable future.”
COVID-19 has opened a Pandora’s box within the pro wrestling industry between what appears to be an outbreak of some sort in WWE, talent removed from tonight’s AEW tapings, and travel restrictions that theoretically affect plans for both companies when it comes to future tapings in Florida.
The biggest story is that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont have placed travel restrictions on people flying into those three states from states that have high current COVID-19 outbreaks.
Florida is one of the states, which essentially on paper would mean that when this goes into effect tomorrow, that anyone who flies from Florida into those three states would have to be quarantined for two weeks after arrival.
This greatly affects both WWE and AEW, which tape in Florida. AEW has a number of talents that live in the Northeast. WWE has its entire executive branch living in those three states.
Sources at AEW have said that they will try to be able to get around that because their talent will be tested at every trip. But they were not clear if they know if that will make a difference or not. WWE has not responded officially but talent has said that they have been told WWE will be testing at every taping going forward.
AEW had already pulled Jon Moxley and QT Marshall from the show tonight because each had been in contact over the past week with someone who later tested positive for COVID. Moxley actually made the decision himself knowing it was not worth the risk to the locker room.
In the case of Marshall, it was having contact with someone who is not related to the wrestling business. While AEW did not announce this publicly, as a precautionary measure, none of Marshall’s students, who have been fans in the stands and some of whom are under contract as wrestlers, were brought to tonight’s tapings. In specific, contracted wrestlers Anna Jay, Lee Johnson, and Alan Angels are also not at the tapings due to precautionary measures. To the best of our knowledge, no AEW talent itself has tested positive.
Moxley was in contact with somebody in Nevada, where he lives, who has tested positive.
In a related issue, Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that multiple people — including in-ring talent — at WWE that were at this past tapings in Orlando had tested positive. Multiple sources in WWE have confirmed that as accurate although WWE has not officially said anything nor released any names. Satin used the number as three or more. We were only told multiple people which included in-ring talent. This does affect at least one person if not more scheduled for the tapings on Friday and Saturday in Orlando for two weeks of Raw and SmackDown, which at this point are not canceled.
One WWE talent noted that they were told COVID-19 testing will now take place at every taping and that “we’re expected to isolate,” and stay in their rooms or homes at this point. One person said that they have been told they will be tested twice this week. Those in Orlando today were given a two-hour heads up for a mandatory test.