WWE canceled its tapings yesterday after a developmental talent was diagnosed with COVID-19, and today they’re trying to make up for lost time.
After filming on June 16 was called off in order for all of WWE’s on-site staff to be tested for the coronavirus, the company planned to tape a total of eight episodes of TV today, according to PW Insider. Their goal was to film next Monday’s episode of Raw, next Monday’s Raw Talk, next Friday’s Smackdown, this and next Friday’s episodes of 205 Live, and next weekend’s Main Event at the Performance Center starting at 11 AM. Additionally, WWE planned to tape this week’s and next week’s episode of NXT at Full Sail, and tonight’s NXT, “may broadcast live on the USA Network.” Overall, that’s about thirteen hours of TV.
So far, things haven’t gone completely according to plan. PWInsider also reports that WWE won’t allow anyone to enter the venues, “unless their COVID-19 tests have come back negative.” That left several performers, staff, and executives on “standby,” and resulted in the tapings starting at least forty minutes late. It’s also the most likely reason that, according to Gary Cassidy of Sportskeeda, today’s scheduled taping of Smackdown has been canceled.
Today was meant to be WWE’s last day of taping until June 29 through July 1. The next period of tapings is scheduled from July 13 through July 15, followed by a live broadcast of Extreme Rules from the Performance Center on July 19.