COVID-19 has reportedly made its way through the WWE ranks with broadcaster extraordinaire Renee Young testing positive for the virus.
Man. What a few days. My show gets cancelled and I get Covid. Wear your masks and wash your hands. Stay safe, everyone ❤️
— Renee Young (@ReneeYoungWWE) June 25, 2020
And there's a twist that affects more than just WWE here: It was revealed that AEW champ Jon Moxley (real name Jonathan Good) missed Wednesday night's "Dynamite" after coming in contact with someone who had tested positive with coronavirus. That someone turned out to be his wife, Young.
AEW's already had to change its plans with Fyter Fest, which would typically be a PPV event but was switched to a two-night event over two weeks being headlined by Moxley defending the AEW Championship against Brian Cage. While no official word has come down yet, don't expect that match to get underway unless Moxley is cleared of the virus.
It wasn't just Moxley, with AEW's QT Marshall also asked to stay home due to fears of having contracted the coronavirus.
It all points to a bigger problem with wrestling. With both AEW and WWE taping their programs in Florida, where COVID-19 cases are spiking dramatically, it was only a matter of time until the pandemic touched wrestling stars in some way.
With wrestlers deemed "essential workers" in the state of Florida in May, they were given the go-ahead to continue their shows. Both companies have handled the virus in drastically different ways, though, and with Florida's outlook worsening, there's no clear way out.
WWE has come under intense scrutiny for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with its personnel reportedly not being tested for COVID-19 and only being checked for temperatures. AEW has taken steps to protect its stars further, including multiple temperature checks daily and has begun testing its stars for the illness regularly. But the neophyte promotion has come under fire for its stars at ringside not social distancing and also not wearing masks during shows.
Really, in an industry that's reliant on literally touching one another, it's somewhat surprising this hasn't happened sooner.