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    Friday, June 19, 2020

    The Grapevine (6/19/20): COVID Chaos

    Welcome to the Grapevine! This section of Smark Henry is where we round up all the founded and unfounded rumors abound the pro wrestling scene that you may have missed. Remember to take everything with a grain of salt!
    • WWE's TV tapings this week were a total mess after the SmackDown segment was cancelled to wait for COVID-19 test results. However, that didn't stop the company from taping 205 Live, Main Event, RAW, and RAW Talk. One source present at the tapings described the mess as a "full-blown clusterfuck," citing an apparent lack of leadership. WWE came down with their second case of COVID-19 after an unnamed Performance Center recruit tested positive, after they had let local fans inside the PC.

      On a related note, Kevin Owens did not show up for the RAW tapings because of his concerns surrounding COVID-19, as his wife's grandfather recently passed away due to complications from COVID-19, and his decision to do so was reportedly respected by the company. He joins Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn in staying home to avoid contracting the virus. (Source: @Wrestlevotes, Dave Meltzer)
    We say: This is what happens when you've got a leader who doesn't care about the outside world because "it gets in the way of his vision." Not only is WWE scrambling, but they're putting so many talent in danger—and still they choose to carry on with producing shows. Somebody has to put a stop to this already while they test everyone and get it sorted out. There's no excuse for this.
    • Officials from FOX were not happy about a segment from last Friday's SmackDown, in which Jeff Hardy splashes Sheamus with his drug test urine sample. The segment aired live on the East Coast but was cut from the West Coast broadcast after it was found that it violated the network's Standards & Practices. (Source: Wrestling Observer Radio)
    We say: Bruce Prichard creative, ladies and gentlemen.
    • Mustafa Ali has been quietly moved to RAW. Although he's still listed on the SmackDown roster on WWE.com, he will be headed to RAW when he appears again on TV. He was rumored to be the mystery hacker seen on SmackDown segments, but those vignettes have not aired for a while, and there's also no news on when Ali will be returning to TV. (Source: PWInsider)
    We say: Looks like RAW needs all the help it can get, especially after AJ Styles was moved to SmackDown. Let's hope Ali can get an Apollo Crews kind of push.

    Let us know what you think of today's news in the comments!

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    Item Reviewed: The Grapevine (6/19/20): COVID Chaos Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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