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  • "Disturbing and distasteful" - Twitter users outraged as WWE uses COVID as a part of SmackDown storyline
Drew McIntyre's main event match was changed due to a COVID storyline

"Disturbing and distasteful" - Twitter users outraged as WWE uses COVID as a part of SmackDown storyline

WWE fans are not happy with the ending of the latest episode of SmackDown. Apart from the low-quality, low-effort finish to the show, there has been considerable negative traction over the fact that COVID was used as a part of the storyline.

Drew McIntyre was originally set to face Sheamus in the main event of SmackDown, with the winner going on to face the Undisputed Universal Champion at the Clash at the Castle later this year.


Roman Reigns is the current Undisputed Universal Champion and will face Brock Lesnar for a title match this month.

However, Sheamus pulled out at the last minute while inside the ring, coughing and pretending that he may have caught the "old COVID". He used it as an excuse to have Butch replace him.

How did WWE fans react to this on Twitter? While reactions were mixed, there was far more outrage than anything else:


Whoever thought of putting COVID into this segment needs to get their job terminated! Millions of people lost their lives and we are still dealing with it today. Very disturbing and distasteful! #SmackDown twitter.com/WWE/status/154…
#SmackDown that might be an all time low point for @WWE and @WWEonFOX its disgusting to make fun of and pretend to have Covid.
Making fun of COVID isn't funny... #SmackDown
WWE really joking about Covid ffs. As if there ain’t enough bad press for them rn 🤦‍♂️#SmackDown
They are using "I may have Covid, so I can't compete tonight" as an angle & then have Sheamus coughing all over the place?
They are really playing about Covid now? No standards… smh #SmackDown
Why is WWE messing around with Covid… 🤦🏾‍♂️ #SmackDown
#SmackDown Bruh we’re already working COVID into a storyline? Yuck
WOW, Sheamus is coughing and said "I hope I don't have COVID." I cant compete till I get tested. Like making a joke of COVID is one thing, to do I with Drew McIntyre who had it is another. #Smackdown
"I think I got me a touch of the old COVID"

🤣🤣🤣 Sheamus doing what we've all been doing for 2 years. "I might have COVID, I can't come in for my shifts this week." #SmackDown
Sheamus claims to have COVID.

WWE let him in the building anyway (in storyline).

In other words, nothing has changed since the ThunderDome era. #SmackDown
Dam we at the point of making COVID jokes...a little low brow much? #SmackDown
Am I the only person a little hot at WWE using "COVID" in storyline one...then having it nix an advertised main event? #SmackDown
That Covid joke/angle was tasteless. Do they realize hundreds of thousands of people lost loved ones because of the pandemic
WWE false advertising a match the entire night and using Covid for heat, wtf are we doing #SmackDown

Is this the first time WWE has used COVID in a storyline?

While the company has acknowledged WWE superstars getting COVID before (such as McIntyre in early 2021, and Reigns in early 2022), it hasn't been blatantly used in a storyline up until now.

Considering how many people lost friends and family members during the pandemic, the company's move to utilize it as a part of a storyline - even if it was just for a minute - wasn't well received.

It just goes to show that despite life returning to normal in most of the world, the wounds of the pandemic are still fresh in the minds of many.

Edited by
Aranya Chaudhury
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