Fightful Select is reporting “significant” changes are being made to the Mar. 17 edition of WWE NXT. Some talent have been contacted and told to quarantine, while others have been pulled from the show altogether.
This is being done in an effort to prevent a possible outbreak of COVID-19. The WWE Performance Center factored into multiple instances last year where the disease spread among wrestlers, and with WrestleMania 37 and TakeOver: Stand & Deliver less than a month away, the company doesn’t want to take any chances - and seems to be trying to send a message that this not the time to play fast and loose with safety protocols.
Concern stems from a mandatory meeting with PC trainees that was held last Thursday (Mar. 11). Several attendees were apparently not taking proper precautions. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer has confirmed the story, tweeting: “The NXT COVID outbreak story is accurate. Lots of positive tests.”
This comes after a separate Fightful report from yesterday about Vince McMahon being concerned about lax COVID safety among staff and talent, prompting him to “either directly or indirectly” let people know he’s unhappy.
This week’s NXT was set to feature Jordan Devlin returning to start a feud with Santos Escobar, LA Knight’s debut match, Swerve Scott vs. Leon Ruff, Dexter Lumis vs. Austin Theory and Tomasso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher vs. Imperium. No word yet on specific changes as a result of this COVID crackdown.
More as we have it.
UPDATE: At Wrestling Observer, Meltzer writes, “What is known is that on Thursday they were building and moving rings at the building next door to the Performance Center and it was said workers were not wearing masks. One report is that there were people who tested positive that both were and weren’t there at the time.”
Talent in quarantine includes both those who’ve tested positive and those who were in contact with them. It’s not believed any Raw or SmackDown wrestlers are affected by this outbreak.