Last night, WWE released a statement confirming that a member of their developmental program had tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the company to test everyone for the coronavirus. Since then, more information has come out about WWE’s talent and management’s reactions to the case.
The original email stated that after “the company’s performers and staff, all talent, production crew and employees on site at the training and production facilities” are tested for COVID-19, “WWE plans to proceed with its normal television production schedule.” This large-scale testing, however, has temporarily impacted TV production. According to POST Wrestling, WWE canceled its tapings today in order for everyone to get tested for the virus and plans to resume filming tomorrow.
The talent I've spoken to say that they found out about the positive COVID-19 test when the rest of the world did. Last time they were informed via a talent relations app about five days before news broke.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) June 16, 2020
According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, WWE talent “found out about the positive COVID-19 test when the rest of the world did,” which was during the last half hour of last night’s Raw, when the news was spread by Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin and an email from WWE Public Relations. In contrast, Sapp says that last time there was a coronavirus case in WWE, back in April, “they were informed via a talent relations app about five days before news broke.”
This test result comes as, for last night’s Raw, WWE quietly started allowing non-staff, along with Performance Center talent, to be a part of the Raw audience for the first time in months. It was reported that these spectators had to sign a waiver saying that they wouldn’t hold WWE liable if they caught coronavirus.
Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer has now reported that he was “told by multiple sources that WWE would not allow anyone in the crowd at the RAW taping Monday to wear masks,” one of the most widely recommended methods, along with social distancing, of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The audience members were local wrestling fans and friends of WWE talent, and according to the Observer, “They just told people, ‘If you want to wear a mask. Don’t come.'”