Backstage Details On The Social Distancing Practices In WWE & AEW
Credit: AEW Wrestling
If you’ve been one of the viewers of AEW or WWE who have had a critical eye of how the promotions have been handling their practices of social distancing during their tapings, then this recent report by Wade Keller of the PWTorch may give you pause.
Keller, like many, states on his most recent VIP Hotline that he tries to keep an open mind when viewing both products as to how their handling the precautionary practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to his sources from both companies, he says it sounds like AEW is trying to keep talent that are booked on a show where they’re not around more than three to five other people within sixth feet. The same goes with WWE.
“Everybody from what I heard at the WrestleMania tapings was keeping their distance from each other. I mean wrestlers were telling me it was really weird because there were so few people in each area when normally there’s just people everywhere and everybody was keeping their social distance, and everybody was keeping their social distance and everybody was being cautious and that’s what I hear about AEW too.”
Keller says viewers can certainly take pause with such thought because of certain moments on television in which talent breaks those rules by closely interacting with one another, but according to his sources, moments on TV are likely just that – a moment for television. The handling of the matter is all business off-camera.
“There’s moments where you’re just like okay, are they taking it seriously?’ What I’m hearing from everybody is that almost everybody is taking it seriously and those who aren’t are only doing things that make it seem like they’re not taking it seriously when they’re in the moment performing and you wish they kept a little more distance. I don’t know how true that was the last time that they were in front of the crowd and I was uncomfortable the last shows that were in front of crowds, but since they’ve gone to these minimum personnel tapings where there’s like literally 30 people on site, counting wrestlers at any given time and sometimes that means you know a few wrestlers come in and as they leave more come in from the outside, but they’re keeping a max it sounds like of around two dozen or so, on the premises. Having like all the wrestlers at ringside that they did, around a dozen it made it seem like ‘Oh these tapings are just full of extras.’ Well they’re not just full of extras, that’s like it. Those are the ones and those people who are at ringside didn’t mix with anybody else.
“It’s just a fraction of a fraction of their normal production team,” Keller adds. “They’re segmenting into small clusters of people who otherwise aren’t mixing with anybody else and then both companies are instructing through official and unofficial channels guidance on strict self-isolating, especially after being at a taping where they are around four or five or six other people. A writer and a producer and even then they’re keeping their distance backstage from what I understand, the meetings with a producer or creative are kept six feet apart. It is just what everybody is doing and it’s seen as the norm now and then wrestlers go home and they self-isolate for two weeks so if they’re symptomatic thy’re not passing it along to someone else.”
Keller even pitched a question directly to a WWE talent, asking how they’d assess the company’s implementation of practice.
“I asked one WWE wrestler, ‘Do you give WWE a passing grade for how they’re handling this?’ The wrestler said, ‘I think they’re doing great.’ And that’s pretty consistently what I’m hearing now with some caveats in terms wishing for slightly better communication but that could also be the result of WWE just not sometimes knowing or also legally trying to protect themselves.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)