Advertisement
  1. Sports

WWE employee tests positive for coronavirus days after WrestleMania recorded

The professional wrestling organization says the unnamed employee at the Orlando recording of the event was placed under quarantine and has since recovered.
A look at the sold-out crowd in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, which hosted 2019's WrestleMania. Tampa was supposed to host this year's live event earlier this month, but it was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic and turned into a prerecorded two-day event, with no fans present, in Orlando.
A look at the sold-out crowd in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, which hosted 2019's WrestleMania. Tampa was supposed to host this year's live event earlier this month, but it was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic and turned into a prerecorded two-day event, with no fans present, in Orlando. [ WWE ]
Published Apr. 12, 2020
Updated Apr. 12, 2020

ORLANDO — A WWE employee tested positive for coronavirus in the days after the company recorded shows at the WWE Performance Center in east Orlando.

The pro wrestling company confirmed the positive test in a press release, saying the unnamed employee and a roommate showed symptoms of the virus after having dinner with two health-care workers on March 26.

The release didn’t say where the dinner took place, but it was the same day taping for WrestleMania wrapped at the WWE’s Performance Center In Orlando. WrestleMania was moved there to be recorded, with no fans present, then aired over two nights last weekend after the original live show scheduled for Raymond James Stadium on April 5 was canceled due to the pandemic.

WWE also didn’t reveal where the health-care workers were employed.

The WWE employee was placed under quarantine and has since recovered. The news was first reported by Fightful.

WWE said in the release “this matter is low risk to WWE talent and staff” because no staff member or employee had contact with the infected employee after the dinner.

The Wrestling Observer reported the person who was infected was an on-screen performer who was not a wrestler.

The news came one day after WWE chairman Vince McMahon decided to resume live broadcasts of Raw, SmackDown and NXT each week from Orlando, as first reported by the Observer’s Dave Meltzer and later confirmed by ESPN.

The company had planned to record several weeks of shows beginning April 10 at the Performance Center and Full Sail University, but McMahon changed plans midway through Friday’s first day of tapings. Live shows will begin with Raw on Monday and continue with NXT on Wednesday and SmackDown on Friday.

The virus has already had an impact on WWE. Several performers and wrestlers opted out of WrestleMania tapings because of minor illness or fears of infection.

A WWE spokesman declined to say whether the company received a federal or state exemption to remain in operation or already is classified as an “essential business.”

The federal government’s essential list includes “workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for news gathering and reporting.”