I spoke with one wrestler this morning who noted that there while some people who are not worried about working on the empty Performance Center shows but there are others who don’t want to but are worried about getting released if they speak out.
As noted earlier, someone using the alias “John” who is said to be a WWE employee reached out to Orange County, Florida officials to say that he would like to have the Performance Center shows shut down and this person has not spoken up to management out of fear of being fired. The employee said in a letter to county officials that people in the company are being “forced to work” the shows and they can’t maintain social distancing at the tapings.
Over the weekend, Curt Hawkins’ wife Liz posted a blog about her husband’s release and noted that she was worried about him going home with the coronavirus. She wrote, “I went from being scared of my husband coming home from work with the Coronavirus to days later him getting fired.”
According to the wrestler I spoke with this morning, there are other spouses of wrestlers who feel the same way as Hawkins’ wife but people are worried that their job could be on the line if they speak up to management. The wrestler told me, “look at Roman, their biggest star and they don’t mention him anymore because he went home. I can’t say anything because I need to put food on my table. Some of the people you see on Raw and SmackDown don’t want to be there.”
The person added, “if anything, the releases from last week makes people want to speak out even less because they know Vince is looking to cut costs. Who wants to risk getting fired right now?”
There have been many instances of social distancing guidelines being relaxed at WWE shows. WWE announcers are seen sitting together on Raw and SmackDown, wrestlers and referees have to be in the same ring for matches and there was a spot during the WrestleMania tapings that called for Rob Gronkowski to do a dive off a platform onto trainees.
In the video below from the WrestleMania tapings, you can see several camera crew members, the referee and several Performance Center trainees in the same area.