The COVID-19 Omicron variant is forcing tighter restrictions around the world, and word now is that WWE is once again dealing with significant issues related to the pandemic.
A number of WWE talents and staff members were reportedly feeling run down coming out of last weekend’s live events and TV tapings, and some have since tested positive for the coronavirus, according to PWInsider.
While some have already tested positive, others are still waiting for their test results to return.
Friday’s Christmas Eve edition of SmackDown on FOX is already taped (spoilers here), but the COVID-19 positives could have an immediate ripple effect on the return of the annual post-Christmas Holiday Tour, which is set to return this year after being nixed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
It remains to be seen how widespread the issues are for WWE, but with the timing of the positive tests and quarantine requirements, it’s almost impossible that there will not be some repercussions as there is not enough time for some talents and staff to test negative and be cleared to return to work.
There are currently no plans to cancel any events in the United States, but next week’s events in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Laval, Quebec are up in the air due to COVID-related shutdowns and restrictions. Tickets for the Quebec show are no longer being offered, but the event is still listed as taking place as of this writing.
It’s interesting to note that due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, FOX has canceled their “New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022” special that was set to air next Friday night. This was the reason WWE SmackDown is being bumped to FS1 on New Year’s Eve. It’s been reported that due to the bump, WWE went with a Year In Review show for SmackDown that night.
FOX has not announced replacement programming for New Year’s Eve as of this writing, but WWE has no event scheduled for that night, which is the night before the WWE Day 1 pay-per-view at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, on New Year’s Day. It’s possible WWE could tape some SmackDown content at Sunday’s live events in Tampa and Madison Square Garden in New York City, Monday’s RAW in Detroit and Monday’s live event in Orlando, Tuesday’s live events in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, Wednesday’s live events in Toronto and Baltimore, or Thursday’s live events in Buffalo and Quebec, but nothing has been announced.
Source: Wrestling Inc.