Following the confirmation that a developmental wrestler tested positive for COVID-19, WWE is reportedly postponing Tuesday’s scheduled television tapings until further notice.
In a tweet posted early on Tuesday morning, Post Wrestling‘s John Pollock cited two unnamed sources, noting that the day’s TV tapings would not be pushing forward. He also cited one of those sources, who told him that WWE is planning to reschedule things for Wednesday. No additional details were mentioned, but WhatCulture wrote that the company was scheduled to tape next week’s episodes of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown on Tuesday, which means this week’s episodes — which were already taped on Monday — will air as normal.
The developmental wrestler, as noted by the publication, became the second confirmed WWE employee to receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis since sports leagues and events first shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic in March. Like the newly diagnosed performer, this employee was not named by WWE in official news releases. However, the promotion did not go into detail regarding their specific role.
In addition to the two aforementioned employees, a number of main roster talents— including Rey Mysterio, The Miz, and Dana Brooke — did not participate in tapings for WrestleMania 36 after they fell ill in the lead-up to the pay-per-view, which aired on April 4 and 5. However, later reports clarified that none of these wrestlers had actually tested positive for COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
WWE announced an unnamed developmental talent who was at the Performance Center on June 9 tested positive for COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/6C0rhUKM9u
— B/R Wrestling (@BRWrestling) June 16, 2020
The new development comes shortly after WWE, through its associate medical director Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, released a statement announcing the positive test and a number of measures the company will be taking to ensure the health and safety of its employees. As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, the statement went on to say that the wrestler was last at the WWE Performance Center on Tuesday, June 9, though no other talents have reported any symptoms so far.
“However, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the health and safety of the company’s performers and staff, all talent, production crew and employees on site at the training and production facilities will be tested for COVID-19 immediately. Following the test results, WWE plans to proceed with its normal television production schedule,” the statement continued.
According to WhatCulture, recent episodes of Raw and SmackDown have featured developmental wrestlers watching the matches and providing “background noise” after weeks of taping without anyone in attendance at the Performance Center. It’s not clear, however, whether these performers will still be used as audience members going forward.