New broke on Monday night that, for the second time since the coronavirus pandemic began, a WWE employee had tested positive for COVID-19. This time it was a WWE Performance Center trainee, and as a result WWE canceled its television taping schedule for Tuesday and had everyone who was at the Performance Center back on June 9 (the last time the trainee was at the PC) undergo coronavirus testing. No positive tests have been reported since then, and WWE planned on returning to the PC on Wednesday to resume taping.
PWInsider has since reported just how much television WWE plans on taping on Wednesday, and it's a doozy. Mike Johnson reported that, starting at 11 AM, WWE would be taping next week's Raw, Raw Talk, Main Event, SmackDown and two episodes of 205 Live, while the NXT brand would knock out the next two episodes of NXT at Full Sail Live.
This is an intense taping schedule today if they can pull it off.June 17, 2020
According to Sportskeeda's Gary Cassidy, next week's SmackDown has already been taken off the list. It's unclear yet if this is due to another positive test, or if WWE simply realized they wouldn't have enough time to get everything in. This week's edition of SmackDown has already been taped.
"A developmental talent, who was last on site at WWE's training facility on Tuesday, June 9, has tested positive for COVID-19," WWE's statement on Monday read. "Since that time, no other individuals that attended the facility have reported symptoms. However, out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the health and safety of the company's performers and staff, all talent, production crew and employees on site at the training and production facilities will be tested for COVID-19 immediately. Following the test results, WWE plans to proceed with its normal television production schedule."
Prior to Monday's positive test, WWE had not been testing its wrestlers or production team with coronavirus tests since the pandemic began. Instead, they had been doing temperature checks and basic wellness tests before each person entered the PC on a daily basis. Triple H explained why during a recent media conference call.
"We have medical experts on our team ... they work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the government to determine the best approach that we must take to guarantee the safety and well-being of our fighters, and that is what we do," he said.
"We are working with the local and federal government," he added. "When you start talking about the various types of tests out there, the accuracy of those tests becomes questionable. We need to do what medical experts tell us, and once the tests become generalized that are precise, and these are available, we will make them. But the precision of those tests have to be there first. But in the meantime, our medical protocols are extensive, and most importantly, they have worked."