In mid-March, WWE began taping all of their main roster shows at their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, due to the coronavirus pandemic. By the middle of May, rumors popped up that WWE was performing zero testing for COVID-19 up to that point. It sounded hard to believe, but when Triple H dodged a question about COVID testing during an interview in early June, the reality become more apparent.
WWE then experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 in the middle of June. One of the people infected was Renee Young, who is married to AEW world champion Jon Moxley. Moxley missed multiple episodes of AEW Dynamite as a result of this situation. At AEW Fyter Fest, Taz took a shot at WWE for running a ‘sloppy shop.’
Moxley was recently interviewed by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, where Jon explained some of the difficulties that he and his wife experienced during that time. He then expressed frustration with WWE’s inability to handle COVID-19 testing better, considering their vast resources:
Moxley: “Yeah, it sucked man. I had fucking feelings about it, I’ll tell you that.”
Meltzer: “That was before WWE was testing people. When you look back in hindsight it’s like, how did they do this for a couple months, and then all of a sudden they had the outbreak, and then they woke up to the reality of what they needed to do.”
Moxley: “I mean, what did you think was gonna happen if you just never tested anybody? We were testing people from the get-go. There’s no way to do this that’s absolutely perfect and foolproof, but you have to do the absolute best you can. They got a cajillion dollars and they couldn’t afford a couple tests?...It was a bad deal, man. Then I had to pull out of another show ‘cause of it, so then I was extra extra pissed. Taz made me feel better though. Taz hit ‘em with that sloppy shop line. Then I was like, ok, hell yeah. Taz to the rescue, baby. FTW. The score is even.”
Moxley and Taz may be bitter rivals on air, but it looks like the AEW world champion loved Taz’ ‘sloppy shop’ attack on WWE. Looking back on this entire situation, the way WWE mishandled testing for COVID-19 testing still makes no sense. Thankfully they have made adjustments since then, including testing and a mask policy.
You can check out the full 90+ minute interview with Moxley over at F4WOnline, where he talks about why he’ll never memorize a wrestling script again, and he also reveals the origins of the Death Rider name that he uses in Japan.