Since reports of a coronavirus outbreak at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando on June 24, fans have noticed several Superstars who’ve disappeared from the programs the company tapes at the facility.
WWE is understandably not releasing the names of employees and contractors who’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 since they started testing last month. Their apparent decision to prohibit anyone from disclosing their own results has further obfuscated the situation.
While it is in no way an indication any of these people are sick or have been exposed to the virus, the most recent edition of Wrestling Observer Newsletter has a list of talent who have not been to the PC since the outbreak:
Dana Brooke, Carmella, Naomi, Street Profits, Velveteen Dream, Austin Theory, Daniel Bryan, Finn Bálor, Liv Morgan, Mandy Rose, Natalya, Nia Jax, Otis, Tucker, Mojo Rawley, Shorty G, Raquel González, Sheamus and Sonya Deville
Several of these names were not involved in storylines when testing began, but many of them were - including the Raw Tag champs and the men’s Money in the Bank briefcase holder.
Street Profits absence could be due to the news Angelo Dawkins shared yesterday, as his wife just gave birth to their first child. Whether just for standard paternity leave or to reduce the risk of bringing COVID home, Dawkins’ absence makes sense.
Daniel Bryan also has a pregnant wife at home, and Brie Bella has said Bryan himself is immunocompromised. He may be taking the same precaution Roman Reigns has. Dave Meltzer writes in the Newsletter that Bryan and Sheamus appearing on recent SmackDown episodes “via satellite” was an indication WWE planned on having them there before the outbreak changed their plans.
Further clouding the picture... Velveteen Dream & Austin Theory have both been named in #SpeakingOut stories, with underage fans saying the wrestlers behaved inappropriately with them in person and online. WWE hasn’t commented on allegations against Theory, but also hasn’t mentioned him on Raw since they came to light. Meltzer says there’s been no change in WWE’s position on Dream since accusations arose prior to the current movement.
We’ll have to let the process play out for those men. With regards to COVID-19, we’re wishing everyone good health.