As The Inquisitr reported yesterday, Kevin Owens reportedly refused to work this week's Monday Night Raw tapings. This came following the revelation that a WWE developmental talented tested positive for COVID-19, which resulted in the entire company being tested. Vince McMahon is still trying to move ahead with programming as planned, but Owens won't be on the next show.
As quoted by Ringside News, the Wrestling Observer Radio's Dave Meltzer confirmed that the reason for Owens' absence is related to COVID-19. According to the journalist, all WWE superstars were given the option to return home if they wanted to, and the former Universal Championship accepted the offer of a temporary hiatus from the company.
"Kevin Owens will not be on this coming Raw because he opted not to stay -- he lives in the area, but he decided not to come. They were told that if you don't want to come you don't have to come and his wife's grandfather just passed away from COVID like within the past couple of weeks so the family was concerned obviously with him working with someone who might have COVID in the building. My impression is that he will come back on the 29th so I think he's just going to miss one week."If Meltzer's report is true, Owens will be back on WWE television before the end of June. At the time of this writing, the superstar reportedly doesn't have any backstage heat either, and his conversations with WWE management about not participating in this week's Monday Night Raw tapings were handled in a respectful manner.Other superstars, such as Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn, are rumored to have upset company officials due to their absences during the pandemic. All mention of Reigns has been removed from WWE television in recent weeks, while Zayn was stripped of his Intercontinental Championship. These incidents suggest that both superstars have upset Vince McMahon.
However, Reigns and Zayn's absences are long-term. Owens, on the other hand, has been present for shows amid the coronavirus crisis. This will likely put him in a better position with company officials, who will appreciate having one of the red brand's top stars back in a couple of weeks.
Owens has been tipped to challenge Apollo Crews for the United States Championship in recent weeks. However, if he's taking time off, WWE's creative team might be forced to change the storyline plans for the championship feud.