Last week the news broke that multiple WWE staff members and wrestlers had tested positive for COVID-19. As of now, four employees have stated publicly that they have it — Renee Young, Kayla Braxton, Adam Pearce and Jamie Noble — and the total number of cases could reportedly be as high as two dozen. Since WWE has reportedly told wrestlers not to state publicly whether or not they have it, the exact number of cases isn't clear. As a result, when several noticeable wrestlers were missing during this week's episode of Monday Night Raw (taped last week), fans started asking questions.
Dave Meltzer went through the list of who was missing on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, explaining that a few of the absences were not due to the virus.
Natalya was kept off the show after her husband, Tyson Kidd (real name TJ Wilson), arrived at the PC with a fever back on June 25. Neither of them has tested positive, but they were kept at home as a precaution.
According to Meltzer, Liv Morgan was off the show as she, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville took a boat trip with Rose's mother.
Rey Mysterio and Dominik were supposed to be on the show for the segment involving Seth Rollins, but the pair were told to stay home for unknown reasons. The two appeared via a video feed for a promo with Seth Rollins, which eventually led to a tag match between Rollins, Murphy, Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black.
The other noticeable absences were Randy Orton and Austin Theory, and it's not clear why they were left off the show (though Meltzer couldn't confirm if either had tested positive).
As of this weekend, WWE was planning on running live tapings of Raw and SmackDown in front of fans in an 8,000-seat arena in Lakeland, Florida, in later July. News broke on Monday night that both shows had been canceled.
Roman Reigns, who has been gone from WWE since the start of the pandemic, explained in an interview this week why he chose to step away from wrestling.0comments
"The company (WWE) has done everything that they can to make it the safest work environment possible. It is not the workplace that I was necessarily concerned about," Reigns explained to The Hindu. "The decision was taken mainly because each performer travels so much, and we are all such a diverse group and from all over the place. I'm not convinced, and I can't trust the fact that everybody is taking it as seriously and locking themselves down at home like I am. I trust my life with my co-workers every time I step foot in the ring, but I just can't put the same trust when it has my children, my wife and my family involved.
"But I don't want it to come off as I am taking a stand against the company at all, because I love the WWE. I've been a part of this company just since I was a little boy," he added. "That's why I always take it so personally when I represent them."
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