In recent weeks, WWE has relaxed its restrictions on spectators coming to the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. The company started asking its developmental talents to act as “fans” during tapings of its weekly shows and allowed friends and family members of superstars to watch this week’s tapings of Monday Night Raw. As a new report suggested, the wrestlers don’t appear to be happy with this arrangement, especially given the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that a developmental wrestler was recently confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co reported there was “a lot of unhappiness” among wrestlers present at that day’s scheduled taping, as WWE decided to invite the same friends and family members to act as fans. He cited an unnamed wrestler, who told him there was already a bit of “uneasiness” when it was the developmental wrestlers providing crowd noises as spectators, but that it wasn’t as bad, because — at least in that case — those talents were based in Orlando and were “staying together in the same area” for the most part.
“That is not the case with the ‘friends and family’ and the feeling is that there was no need for them to be there as the risk of spreading COVID-19 increases with more unfamiliar people in the building,” Davis added, pointing out that there has reportedly been a lot of tension backstage during this week’s tapings.
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
In addition, Davis mentioned that, per his sources, at least one wrestler chose not to take part in Wednesday’s tapings. He did not name anyone specifically, but separate reports have suggested that Kevin Owens was not present for that day’s activities. WWE was only able to record next week’s episode of Monday Night Raw on Wednesday, as the company chose to postpone the scheduled taping for the June 26 episode of Friday Night SmackDown.
However, it also seems like there are other superstars who don’t appear to be bothered by the presence of select outsiders at the Performance Center and, as described by Davis, are just “happy to be at work” amid the pandemic.
Davis’ report on the situation was not the only one to hint at a stressful, chaotic environment during this week’s tapings. On Wednesday, the WrestleVotes Twitter account shared a screenshot of a conversation between two unnamed people, with one of them describing the situation as a full-blown “clusterf*ck” with a “complete, unbelievable lack of leadership” behind the scenes.