NXT promoted a Roderick Strong vs. Kushida Cruiserweight title match for their Aug. 17 episode, but General Manager William Regal announced hours before the show that the champion Kushida wasn’t medically cleared.
The legendary super-junior has been out ever since, and in an Instagram video earlier today (Sept. 8), he explains why:
“I hope everyone is okay. Today I would like to give you an update. Three weeks ago, I was not available for my title match on NXT TV. I tested positive for COVID-19. My family also tested positive. Thankfully, everyone is okay. My wife and I are fully vaccinated, but we still got the virus. Fortunately, the vaccine has given us some immunity, but we experienced some symptoms. We had very low energy, and I lost my sense of smell and taste. We are recovering. Everyone is feeling better now. The pandemic isn’t over. Please stay safe. I will see you in the ring soon, thank you for your time.”
In Kushida’s absence, Strong has been issuing open challenges and hyping his Diamond Mine teammates. Roddy and manager Malcolm Bivens still clearly have designs on Kushida’s belt as soon as he’s cleared.
More importantly, it’s good to hear Kushida and his family are recovering. His story includes our latest reminder that, as he says outright, the pandemic isn’t over. It also reinforces that while being vaccinated doesn’t mean you won’t catch COVID, it’s still doing its job and preventing the coronavirus from hospitalizing or killing its victims.
As Kushida also says, stay safe out there everybody.