This week's AEW Dynamite will feature the first four matches in the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament. One of those matches was supposed to see Kenny Omega take on Joey Janela, but hours before the show the company released a statement announcing that Janela had been pulled from the event as a safety precaution after he came into contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19. AEW's statement said Janela encountered them at an independent wrestling show, and while names were not given multiple wrestlers from GCW's The Collective events from earlier in the month have since tested positive. Janela wrestled Ricky Morton during that weekend at Joey Janela's Spring Break 4.
"AEW and Joey Janela learned today that he had exposure to a known COVID-19 positive person at an independent show. For that reason we are pulling him until such time as he is cleared to return consistent with our protocols," the statement read.
AEW and Joey Janela learned today that he had exposure to a known COVID-19 positive person at an independent show. For that reason we are pulling him until such time as he is cleared to return consistent with our protocols. pic.twitter.com/V8TJiAhuNF— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 21, 2020
AEW then announced Janela's tag partner Sonny Kiss would be replacing him.
As of now, Janela has not commented on the situation. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.
This is far from the first time COVID has affected AEW programming, though the number of wrestlers testing positive for the virus has remained low. Most notably Jon Moxley had his AEW World Championship defense against Brian Cage delayed after his wife (Renee Young) caught the virus, and several weeks back a six-man tag match involving Moxley, Darby Allin, Will Hobbs, Lance Archer and Team Taz was thrown out when Archer came into contact with the virus.
Check out the full lineup for tonight's Dynamite below:
- AEW World Tag Team Championships No. 1 Contender: Young Bucks vs. Butcher & Blade vs. The Dark Order vs. Private Party
- Kenny Omega vs. Sonny Kiss
- Rey Fenix vs. Penta El Zero M
- Hangman Page vs. Colt Cabana
- Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy
- Britt Baker vs. TBA
- Chris Jericho and MJF's "Le Dinner Debonair"