On-camera talent accepted.
After reports of dozens of positive COVID tests at their WWE Performance Center last week, Performance Center recruits in the crowd at Raw, SmackDown, and NXT tapings began wearing masks for the first time.
During the Mon., June 29 episode of Raw, several people noticed that NXT’s Rik Bugez took his off a couple of times. The metalhead beefcake defended his decision as a way to add more energy to the proceedings, but upon learning more about the situation and specifically the likelihood of a false negative test result, he said it wouldn’t happen again.
There was at least one woman in the crowd at NXT’s Great American Bash night one (taped and aired Weds., July 1) who appeared on camera several times with no face covering. But it looks like that will not happen in the future - or if it does, it’ll cost the person who did it some money.
PWInsider says WWE officially mandated masks for all talent and staff, except those on-camera, starting with the Raw taping today (July 3). Anyone not wearing one will be fined $500 for their first offense. It will double to $1000 for a second.
Public health experts agree that wearing a mask is one of the most effective tools we have for stopping the spread of the coronavirus. It’s good to see WWE taking a common sense step that sets a good example, even if it’s somewhat remarkable they didn’t do so sooner considering they’ve been selling masks at their online shop for more than a month.
And as a bonus, it means Austin Aries and Low Ki won’t be back any time soon!