The fallout of Wednesday’s reports that WWE’s latest round of coronavirus testing at their Orlando Performance Center revealed multiple positive results continues to come in. The company is filming SmackDown there today (Fri., June 26), and plans to continue taping tomorrow.
Here’s a rundown of updates which have come in since this morning:
- Producer Jaime Noble revealed on his private Instagram that “COVID-19 has hit home”, indicating that he tested positive. He joins on-screen talents Renee Young & Kayla Braxton, and fellow producer Adam Pearce.
- Independent performer “The Ultimate Pusher” Tyreke deleted a tweet saying WWE informed him he’d tested positive, then sent ones asking Young and Triple H for guidance on how to proceed, especially concerning his pregnant wife. Tyreke’s believed to have appeared as an extra, presumably in the crowd at the PC. From his timeline, the last WWE show he publicly said he worked was June 15’s Backlash.
- PWInsider reports the number of positive results has increased since yesterday. Sportskeeda says there are now more than 30. Results are still coming in according to Insider’s Mike Johnson, and “there is concern about everyone at every level of the company who was at the PC.”
- Per Insider, some wrestlers on the roster are in “disbelief” that others in the locker room have continued going out to bars and other gatherings - and posted about it social media - since the company informed them of the additional COVID cases earlier this week.
- Wresters have contacted Fightful to ask about the number of positive tests, stating the site would “know better than them.” Sean Ross Sapp writes the wrestlers don’t know how many tests have been administered, “let alone who tested positive.” That’s in contrast to the first COVID case around WrestleMania 36, where the company provided information on who tested positive, how they were exposed, and what their prognosis was in an internal memo.
- Some PC talents were not asked to come in for testing until this week, according to Fightful. The site also posted a message it says was sent to all NXT talent yesterday at 9 a.m. - “Per Vince, ALL Talent are needed for TV on Friday & Saturday. Please go to PC by 10:30 AM TODAY for drive-through COVID testing. if you took test yesterday, you don’t need to today. If you are in high level storyline, you will be off camera. Thanks. **IMPORTANT: after test, you will need to remain ISOLATED AND QUARANTINED until after the TV tapings.” Many missed that deadline on short notice, and as of 5 p.m. were still awaiting information about when the next tests would be available.
- Sapp also claims numerous NXT and PC talent had reservations about attending WWE’s Raw and SmackDown tapings today and tomorrow after this week’s news, but “were urged to come in even after expressing that they weren’t comfortable doing so.”
- It seems “Performance Center recruits” in the crowd are wearing masks now, according to this Twitter thread from Shotzi Blackheart about today’s taping.
All of this is playing out in Florida, where today the state announced 8,942 new cases of COVID-19, shattering previous daily records.