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Reported reason behind the absence of top WWE Superstars, backstage news on COVID-19 outbreak

  • We now know more details about the COVID-19 situation in WWE, and it doesn't look good.
  • The spike in the number of positive cases has forced WWE to change many plans.
Modified 29 Jun 2020, 05:13 IST
AJ Styles and Renee Young.
AJ Styles and Renee Young.

The reported COVID-19 outbreak in the WWE has been covered extensively in the past few days and more details are being revealed as the company scrambles to create new content. Renee Young, Adam Pearce, Jamie Noble and Kayla Braxton are confirmed to be positive from WWE, while the overall figure is reportedly said to be over thirty.

Dave Meltzer provided more backstage updates regarding WWE and the COVID-19 situation on the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Radio.

Meltzer confirmed that all talents had been told not to address the COVID-19 situation publicly. Renee Young, however, did it on her own and WWE had no prior knowledge of the presenter tweeting about her positive test.

Meltzer also revealed that a family of a talent who was at the Performance Center has at least two positive coronavirus cases.

"I know of one family that at least has a couple of people who tested positive, yeah, who have at least two people who have tested positive. It's just a really bad situation."

The sudden spike in the number of positive cases in the company unsurprisingly led to many changes being made to the recent episode of SmackDown. Many WWE Superstars were kept off TV, and WWE chose to air the Boneyard match from WrestleMania 36 to fill time.

Top WWE Superstars absent from SmackDown


AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan were involved in an interview segment with Renee Young in the ring on the June 19th episode of SmackDown, and that could be why they weren't used on SmackDown. Styles was originally scheduled to defend the IC title against Drew Gulak.

Mojo Rawley and Chad Gable - who worked closely with producer Jamie Noble - were also not booked on the show. Mandy Rose, Otis, Sonya Deville and Tucker were also kept off TV. Meltzer noted that he didn't know whether or not the Superstars mentioned above had pulled themselves off TV or had tested positive.

Sheamus was also absent, and his scheduled segment with Jeff Hardy has been postponed.

"AJ, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus were built for stuff on the show, and they weren't there. Now, they did advertise Sheamus for something for next week. But, either these guys tested positive, or they pulled themselves off because people tested positive and also Otis, Tucker, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, Mojo Rawley and Chad Gable were guys who weren't there. Shorty G or whatever and Mojo were working very closely with Noble who did test positive and was the agent for their match last week. And Rose and Deville are legitimately best friends and have been for years and have been always around. And obviously, Renee was interviewing AJ and Daniel Bryan in the middle of the ring last week. There's that.
And backstage, Mandy Rose and Otis fo do all these skits together. As far as whether they pulled themselves off or they tested positive, I don't know, but they were all very conscious by their absence."

WWE's original plan was to tape two full episodes of RAW and SmackDown each during the weekend, but the plans were changed. WWE has also updated their upcoming tapings schedule in the wake of all recent developments.

Published 29 Jun 2020, 05:13 IST
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