A new report has shed some light on why three WWE superstars — Robert Roode and The Singh Brothers — have not wrestled for the company in recent months.
As reported on this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Fightful), the three aforementioned wrestlers have not been booked to compete on WWE television in two months because they all live in Canada and cannot fly to the United States, due to the travel restrictions put in place to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. Roode, a former United States Champion who had most recently been teaming with Dolph Ziggler, is part of the Friday Night SmackDown roster, while Sunil and Samir Singh wrestle on WWE’s cruiserweight-centric show, 205 Live.
Prior to the pandemic, Roode and Ziggler were in the thick of the fight for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. However, the duo was unsuccessful in their bid to win the titles at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on March 8.
Despite their apparent inability to show up for the company’s tapings at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, The Singh Brothers were featured on the May 1 installment of 205 Live: The Matches That Made Me, where they talked about the bouts that helped define their careers thus far, as noted on WWE‘s website.
— WWE (@WWE) March 7, 2020
As former WWE and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar also makes his home in Canada but still got to compete at WrestleMania 36 last month, the Wrestling Observer was quoted as saying WWE was able to “pull some strings” in order to make sure he could fly to Florida and show up for the event. Lesnar, who also appeared on multiple episodes of Monday Night Raw to promote his WrestleMania 36 match against Drew McIntyre, has not been seen on television since he lost his championship to the Scotsman at the “Show of Shows.”
In the two months since the novel coronavirus caused major sports leagues around the world to suspend or cancel their seasons, WWE has continued to tape weekly programs and pay-per-views, either live or in advance of their scheduled air date. Save for some parts of Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, which were taped at the promotion’s corporate headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, all of the tapings have been held at the Performance Center.
As a result of the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 crisis, it’s far from certain when WWE will be able to hold shows in front of live audiences once again, or when travel restrictions will be lifted, thus allowing Roode and The Singh Brothers to return to action.