The first WWE superstar to pull out of working events at the Performance Center due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic was Roman Reigns just prior to WrestleMania. Now, another WWE performer has decided against traveling and working shows due to the pandemic: Sami Zayn. This week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Zayn has been absent from WWE tapings since night one of WrestleMania due to his own concerns on the matter. Zayn's last appearance on SmackDown was the April 3rd show, the final prior to WrestleMania.
Zayn worked a match with Daniel Bryan during night one of WrestleMania, a very good contest that saw Zayn retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. During Zayn's absence from television, his stable mates Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro have continued to appear, including during last week's show when they helped Baron Corbin defeat Drew Gulak and qualify for the men's Money In The Bank match.
Don't expect Zayn on SmackDown for a few more weeks, as WWE has taped content ready to air for the next two weeks. The next round of WWE television tapings will be the week of May 11th.
Zayn also recently had his wisdom teeth taken out, which he tweeted about back on April 20th.
In lighter news, I had my wisdom teeth taken out last week so I've been on an #AllPuddingDiet for days and now I'm ripped to shreds.— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) April 20, 2020
WWE has maintained that they are not forcing anyone to work their television tapings if they feel uncomfortable traveling and working during the pandemic. The company has also declared that nobody will face any punishment as it relates to their character's push if they refuse to work out of a personal concern for safety.
A report was made at a recent Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Florida by an anonymous worker who claimed to be from WWE about working the TV tapings, asking the government to shut them down. WWE received an exemption from the Florida state government to continue production as an "essential business" during the pandemic.0comments
WWE outlined the safety precautions they are taking during tapings during last week's quarterly conference call for investors. The precautions noted by WWE to be taking place include changing ring ropes, turnbuckles, and using a spray to kill the virus. They have also been screening workers as they enter the Performance Center for the tapings.
Last week, a report surfaced that some WWE staff have commented that they haven't felt safe working the tapings due to some personnel not taking proper precautions at the Performance Center events.