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:
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.