Per Sportskeeda, WWE superstar Apollo Crews reportedly missed the Extreme Rules pay-per-view because he tested positive for COVID-19. The news came courtesy of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer following Sunday’s event.
Crews was originally slated to defend his United States Championship against MVP. However, during the show, MVP announced that his opponent hadn’t been medically cleared to compete after being attacked by Bobby Lashley in a recent storyline segment.
Crews’ scheduled opponent subsequently crowned himself as the new champion and left the show with the title. Tom Phillips announced on commentary that Crews was still technically the champion afterward, suggesting that the feud is far from over. Of course, how the storyline proceeds will be dependent on Crews’ speedy recovery.
If the COVID-19 rumor is true, it confirms weeks of speculation about Crews’ condition. He hasn’t appeared on WWE television since the June 29 episode of Monday Night Raw, which has prompted rumors that he was one of the 30-something employees who have reportedly contracted the coronavirus.
Several backstage employees have confirmed that they’ve tested positive in recent weeks, including Renee Young and Kayla Braxton. Some in-ring talents have also supposedly been infected as well, and Crews could be one of many names to be revealed in the coming weeks.
The company reportedly expected the wrestler to recover in time for Extreme Rules. The Monday Night Raw superstar has been posting pictures of himself with family members on Twitter in recent days, however, suggesting that he’s no longer being forced to self-isolate.
Crews’ social media activity — coupled with the commentary team confirming that he hasn’t lost the title — may indicate that he’s healthy now. As highlighted by the Sportskeeda article, he also sent out a message to MVP earlier, informing the self-proclaimed champion that he’s coming for him and Bobby Lashley.
“@The305MVP is trippin thinking he can claim himself the #USChampion. I was looking forward to shutting you BOTH up once and for all tonight at #ExtremeRules but once I’m cleared…”
Crews has been the subject of a major push recently, so he’ll be hoping to return to action as soon as possible. Sami Zayn was stripped of his Intercontentinal Championship on Friday Night SmackDown for being absent for too long, and Crews is coming up on a month since his last televised appearance. Vince McMahon is still focused on producing weekly television and pay-per-views during the pandemic, but he needs an active roster to do that.