Back on June 15 WWE announced that a Performance Center trainee had tested positive for COVID-19, forcing WWE to shut down the following day's tapings in order for wrestlers and staff to undergo testing for coronavirus. Since then no new positive cases have been announced, but former Universal Champion Kevin Owens still opted to err on the side of caution and opted out of the following tapings for Raw. Owens appeared on The Bump this week and confirmed the reports that a) he had backed out to protect himself and his family and b) WWE took no issue with him making that decision.
"I'm great, I've always been great," Owens said while speaking from a cabin in Tennessee. "Due to the circumstances that happened over the last week with the positive coronavirus test that happened in the company, I thought it was wiser for me to stay with my family on that day. I told the people in charge my decision and they didn't even flinch. They were like, 'Yeah, okay.' There was no pushback because, I don't think they pushback on anybody, but also they know once I make my mind up on something, that's just the way it's going to be. And they are respectful of my decision. I'm glad I took it because it was the best thing to do for my family."
Owens didn't mention when he'll be back on television. In recent weeks he's been involved in the United States Championship picture alongside Apollo Crews, Angel Garza and Andrade, though the latter two seemed to move on to a feud with the Street Profits over the Raw Tag Team Championships.
Despite his white-hot start with the company, Owens has not held a championship since his third reign with the US title back in 2017. After making a surprise appearance at NXT TakeOver: WarGames last November, Owens turned his full attention back to the Raw brand in a storyline with Seth Rollins. This eventually saw Rollins turn heel as the Monday Night Messiah" and wound up getting Samoa Joe, AOP, Buddy Murphy and the Viking Raiders involved before Owens beat Rollins at WrestleMania 36.
WWE's next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules, is scheduled for July 19 at the WWE Performance Center. So far two matches have been announced:
- WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Raw Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks