After this week’s (June 15) episode of Raw went off the air, word got out that a Performance Center recruit who was in the audience for WWE’s tapings on June 9 had tested positive for COVID-19.
In the aftermath of that urgent situation, multiple outlets reported that Kevin Owens opted out of WWE’s television tapings on June 17, which means he won’t be on next week’s episode of Raw.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer explained more details behind Owens’ decision:
“His wife’s grandfather just passed away from COVID, like in the last couple of weeks, and so the family was, for obvious reasons, very concerned about him working with somebody who had just tested positive in that building. My impression is that when they come back, which will be [June] 29th, that he would be back. So I think he’s just gonna miss one week of TV. But the stories that were going around that he missed TV are true.”
It’s clear that Owens made the right choice for himself and his family by staying home after news of the positive test at the Performance Center. It sure would have been nice if WWE gave him and everyone else on the roster a heads up on the situation before the June 15 episode of Raw.
So many families have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic and the inadequate response to it from the United States government, as well as many elected officials who are misleading the public with bad information and poor guidance on how to respond. It’s not going away any time soon, and people still need to behave in a responsible manner that limits the spread of the virus.
Considering that WWE somehow didn’t conduct their first COVID-19 testing until this week (in reaction to the positive test), even though the pandemic started months ago, it makes the situation for WWE wrestlers (and crew) and their families even riskier.
One pressing question that WWE needs to answer coming out of this situation is, will they start doing frequent regular testing every single week of their television tapings going forward, or will they continue to be a clown show that only tests after COVID has already infected one of their talents?