AEW, WWE NXT Rocked by COVID, Forcing Last-Minute TV Changes

Both WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite had to be changed at the last minute after stars in both companies tested positive for COVID-19. The latest wave of infections come despite both companies having testing policies to attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus amongst staff and talent. The outbreak doesn't appear at this time to be as extensive as one that struck WWE earlier this year before the company had a real testing policy, which affected nearly forty people.

The official logo for WWE NXT.
The official logo for WWE NXT.

"Tonight's NXT show just finished taping," tweeted wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer less than two hours before NXT went on the air last night. "Several changes had to be made." Last night's show featured big matches meant to decide the number one contenders for NXT's championships at NXT Takeover in October. Unfortunately, WWE has previously instructed all of its talent and staff to keep quiet if they contract coronavirus to prevent negative media attention. As a result, we rarely learn from firsthand reports who has and hasn't tested positive for the virus and need to make guesses based on who may be absent from the show.

In AEW's case, Lance Archer took to Twitter on Wednesday ahead of Dynamite to write, "When I returned from our last show, a family member was ill when I got home. I found out later a friend who had taken my family member to the Vet for our Dachshund was COVID positive. While at home, now I've also gotten sick tested positive. I feel ok, expect to see me in 2 wks." Fellow AEW star Brian Cage also tweeted that he was feeling sick, though he later deleted the tweet. Cage's wife, Melissa Santos, normally hosts Impact Wrestling's Twitch stream on Tuesday nights but was absent this week. George Iceman and Tommy Dreamer filled in for her.

The official logo for AEW or All Elite Wrestling.
The official logo for AEW or All Elite Wrestling.

Archer was supposed to team with Brian Cage and Ricky Starks to face Jon Moxley, Will Hobbs, and Darby Allin. Instead, the main event of Dynamite was changed to Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston for the AEW World Championship. In a post-match beatdown, Hobbs, Allin, and Starks all got involved, but Cage did not. AEW could have the original six-man tag match as soon as the October 7th episode of Dynamite, assuming both Archer and Cage are ready to compete by then.

Then just after midnight Thursday, more news broke about coronavirus in AEW, with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp and Florida sports journalist Jon Alba jointly reporting that multiple wrestlers present at AEW's September 9th TV tapings have tested positive for COVID-19. That could include Archer and potentially Cage, and also likely includes rising star Ben Carter, who wrestled a match against Scorpio Sky on Tuesday's Late Night Dynamite, which would have been recorded on September 9th. Carter took to Twitter to write, "I have tested positive for COVID-19," adding as part of a larger statement, "After this Tuesday, I was at an all time high… and to be honest, I still kinda am," but noting that he has now had to back out of several exciting things due to the coronavirus infection.

Despite America's unique ineptitude in handling the coronavirus pandemic, it isn't only American pro wrestling companies who are suffering due to positive COVID-19 tests. F4wOnline reports that both Ultimo Guerrero and Bandido have been removed from CMLL's 87th-anniversary show set to take place on Friday due to positive tests.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Sadly, that prophecy was wrong. Oh, Jude Terror was right. For ten years. About everything. But nobody listened. And so, Jude Terror has moved on to a more important mission: turning Bleeding Cool into a pro wrestling dirt sheet!

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