The wrestling world has largely moved on from the debate about whether or not promotions should continue to produce shows during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many fans have clearly stopped watching. But especially with other sports resuming play and much of the U.S. trying to act as if 167,000 people haven’t died from the novel coronavirus in this country, the conversation doesn’t dominate social media and comment sections like it did a couple months ago.
More companies are coming back, too, and AEW & WWE are inching closer to letting fans attend their shows - with no indication a vaccine will be widely available this year. So perhaps it’s timely that we’re being reminded COVID can still take away the wrestling we’ve been getting.
And that’s without even getting into Chris Jericho...
Two recent examples:
- New Japan canceled their house show in Uwajima yesterday (Thurs., Aug. 13) when a member of their roster booked on the show came down with a fever. The decision was to wait for his test results so as to not increase the risk for his fellow wrestlers or fans coming to the show. He’s since had negative results on both antigen and antibody tests, and NJPW announced they will resume their schedule with Sunday’s show from Shizuoka.
- On their pay site, Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported that more positive COVID tests were the reason WWE only filmed one SmackDown on Aug. 4. Their original plans called for two episodes to be taped, and the change prompted more adjustments to their pre-SummerSlam schedule. An outbreak in June led to the company implementing a testing protocol after weeks of relying on symptom-based screening. WWE has not commented on Insider’s report, or confirmed more positive tests.
Wrestling’s been fortunate to run as smoothly as it has since March. Whether or not that continues, let’s hope everyone involved in putting on shows stays healthy until we get a vaccine and can get serious about returning to normal.