Despite the fact that multiple WWE employees took to social media last week to confirm they recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the latest rumors suggest that the company’s chairman, Vince McMahon, still doesn’t see the pandemic as a serious threat to his promotion and its talents.
Citing comments made by Bryan Alvarez on Sunday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Live, WrestlingNews.co wrote later that day that McMahon believes COVID-19 is an illness that resembles a bad case of the flu. As noted, McMahon’s mindset on the matter appears to be similar to that of UFC president Dana White, who has also held multiple empty-arena shows amid the pandemic.
“Vince McMahon has never said anything publicly about what he thinks about the coronavirus,” Alvarez was quoted as saying.
“He’s never said anything publicly … I have heard from multiple sources that Vince does not think that this is all that bad. I hesitate to even say that. I’m not sitting here saying that he outright thinks its a hoax or whatever.”
As noted by WrestlingNews.co, the new rumors might explain why McMahon only started testing WWE’s superstars for COVID-19 earlier this month, when the news broke that a developmental talented had tested positive. Prior to this, WWE had subjected everyone entering the Performance Center for tapings to temperature checks and had instituted several other safety procedures, but did not perform any coronavirus tests.
Prior to the recent developments, on-air performers were not required to wear face masks, and that still appears to be the case. However, WrestlingNews.co’s Paul Davis wrote that per one of his sources, everyone who attended last week’s Friday Night SmackDown tapings was wearing a mask. This is in contrast to last Friday’s pre-taped episode of the show, where several of the people invited to watch the tapings chose not to wear any form of facial protection.
As of this writing, four people within the company — announcer Renee Young, backstage interviewer Kayla Braxton, and producers Adam Pearce and Jamie Noble — have publicly confirmed their positive test results. It has been reported that more than 20 WWE employees had tested positive for COVID-19, though as Davis noted, his sources believe that some of the numbers that have been rumored are “exaggerated.”
The new report marks the second time in recent days that Alvarez reported on how McMahon and other WWE officials are allegedly responding to the heightening coronavirus crisis in Florida. Last week, WrestlingNews.co again cited the longtime wrestling journalist, who said that the company doesn’t want its wrestlers making their positive test results public, as he has heard of other WWE employees who have yet to confirm such news on social media.