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In the wake of COVID-19 outbursts, WWE And AEW Have Been Left Scrambling To Book Shows.

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According to an interview with PWInsider, Triple H appears to have the confidence it will be good and that they are doing everything they can : As for now I’m very confident that the Sunday card will continue as announced – but this is a very sort of end of day time – and at any given time things can change – and you’ve seen that recently.

Sunday’s Clash of Champions PPV was expected to have three women’s matches : Zelina Vega against Asuka for the Raw Women s Championship, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler against the Riott Squad for the Women s Tag Team Championship, and Nikki Cross against Bayley for the Smackdown Women s Championship. When Baszler, Jax, and Cross were all quarantined, the division was left in deranged state. Because Jax and Baszler are the current Champions and the whole Clamity of Champions is that every match is a title championship, they just had to cancel the Men’s Tag Maah.

Retribution then went on Monday Night Raw to cause their usual chaos, reportedly because they’ve also been quarantined based on COVID exposure. On the one hand, a couple of weeks off could be exactly what WWE needs to find how to redirect the widely mocked angle and move past fans’ initial negative reactions to the faction’s silly in-fact names and Cut-rate Bane masks. On the other hand, it might be the first step to Retribution dropped together, which would be bad news for the five wrestlers who got up from NXT for the angle.

Speaking of which, I hear many people saying that the masks and silly names could be in the long run to benefit those wrestlers because they can be repackaged under their own names after the retribution fails. It would be great if that is true, but when I look at past NXT calls like Sanity, the Ascension and AoP, it is difficult to put my hopes up.

Raw Underground was also left off the show, apparently because COVID left them without enough Superstars to crowd around that ropeless ring and make it look like a fighting club. Considering Raw’s ratings without the Underground segment were better than they’ve been with it, it makes you question whether we’ve seen the last of Shane McMahon’s little experiment.

This weekend is the 31nd day of NXT TakeOver and we’ll see how things go there. According to an interview with PWInsider, Triple H appears to have the confidence it will be good and that they are doing everything they can:

As for the moment I’m very confident in this – that the Sunday card will go on as announced – but this is a very kind of end-of-day time – and at any given time things can change – and you’ve seen that recently. The Performance Center is back to function. The talent is – he knows, nobody can control this situation and nobody is going to be able to stop this pandemic and COVID. We are doing the best we can to keep our performers safe, our employees, our crew – everyone safe. So these situations where positives are coming up and then we go back and very, very closely contact trace, and go back and quarantine those people – all this is for the safety and wellbeing of everyone.

And of course WWE isn’t the only WWE company that is dealing with the effects of a pandemic. Lance Archer of AEW has revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 and a whole lot more people were conspicuously missing from the AEW Dynamite last week, including Nick Jackson, the butcher and the blade, and Archer’s own manager, Jake the Snake Roberts. Tonight we will see who shows up on Dynamite and NXT, but each appears to be trying to come up with a full show every week.

Hopefully we are approaching a day when things return to normal, when wrestling shows can tour before huge live crowds, and roster members disappearing because of illness will not stop happening, but it will cease appearing like a regular weekly event. In the meantime, here is hope that both companies can control their current outbreaks and go back to the stories they want to tell instead of the stories they are left with.

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