Multiple WWE employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in two waves of testing. Some Superstars are skipping the tapings as well. In spite of this, the talents at the Performance Center weren’t adhering to the safety protocols until Vince McMahon took stern action.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed the status of those wrestlers who have opted out of the tapings due to the pandemic.
WWE is likely to freeze the contract of select Superstars who aren’t showing up at the Performance Center. The company doesn’t intend to mess with their top guys who aren’t working the tapings due to the COVID-19 situation.
“With Kevin Owens it’s only been a couple of weeks… so I guess it’s not. But with Sami Zayn it probably will be. If it’s Roman Reigns, they may not want to piss him off, and he isn’t going anywhere anyway. He is one guy who is not going to go anywhere. But with some guys absolutely they will freeze them (their contracts)”
Sami Zayn generated huge backstage controversy by following in Roman Reigns’ footsteps. The Big Dog had pulled himself from WWE TV prior to WrestleMania 36 and Zayn soon made the decision to skip the tapings. That didn’t end too well for Zayn as WWE stripped him of the Intercontinental Title.
Unlike Zayn, Reigns and Kevin Owens have children at home, so it’s a different story altogether. Owens recently lost a member of his family to the novel coronavirus and Reigns’ history with leukemia is pretty well known.
It’s obvious that the company won’t allow Superstars to stay at home during pandemic especially when Mr. McMahon himself considers the deadly virus to be nothing more than a bad flu.
Hopefully, normalcy will return soon and talents won’t have to worry about facing dire consequences for skipping the tapings during the pandemic.