It was reported earlier this month that WWE took further action in an attempt to keep talent and staff safe from COVID-19 while working TV tapings. They did so by enforcing a policy about protective masks at the Performance Center.
It was later reported that the policy came about when a wrestler who just returned from a hiatus voiced concerns to WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon about people in the company not taking social distancing and masks seriously.
Our own Paul Davis was told that there was a lot of frustration from staff and wrestlers because the feeling was that McMahon was not taking the virus seriously.
John Pollock of POST Wrestling has a report up about how Pat Laprade provided some additional information on the policy during the July 9th edition of Les anti-pods de la Lutte, which is a French-language podcast.
Laprade reported that it was Kevin Owens who raised concerns at the tapings on July 3rd that led to the policy. Per the report, Owens went to McMahon and told him that he was not comfortable over the lack of masks being worn and people being too close. He then told McMahon that he was going home.
McMahon asked Owens what he thought the company should do, which led to Owens responding to him that McMahon was the only person the crew was going to listen to.
Apparently, Owens brought up how he once swore on an episode of SmackDown and fined as a result. Owens never did it again. The point of this being brought up was that if the company fines a talent then the chances of the talent doing it again are slim.
Finally, the report notes that when Owens saw people wear masks and keep their distance, he decided to stay for the television tapings. This doesn’t come as a surprise as Owens has been publicly vocal about precautionary measures that people should take.
He removed himself from television for a few weeks because of the recent spikes in positive tests conducted at the Performance Center. Also, Owens’ wife’s grandfather passed away from COVID-19 before Owens made the decision.
WWE will be fining those who do not wear masks $500. Also, anyone who has a second offense of not wearing a mask after that will be fined $1,000.