ROH Reveals COVID-19 Policy for Tapings & Changes Made in Creative
Ring of Honor recently announced their official COVID-19 testing and health safety protocols that will be in effect going forward for the company’s resumption of tapings and events.
Obviously, the biggest story of the week is that ROH is returning to in-ring action after nearly six months on hiatus due to the pandemic.
The company announced it will hold tapings for the “Ring of Honor Wrestling” television show this month in Maryland. The focus of the tapings will be the Pure Title tournament, which had originally been scheduled to begin in April.
To help ensure the safety of the talent, staff and crew, no fans will be permitted to the event and only those who are essential to the production will be present. ROH is adhering to stringent medical and administrative protocols instituted by the Maryland State Athletic Commission.
Here are several key components of the commission’s comprehensive COVID-19 testing protocols:
* Two weeks prior to the event, talent and referees are required to undergo the first NMT (nasal mid-turbinate) molecular PCR swab test.
* Within three days of the event, talent and referees will be required to undergo a second NMT molecular PCR swab test. They must be immediately isolated/sequestered after undergoing the second test. Separate hotel accommodations and separate eating arrangements will be required for participants, who must remain isolated until arriving at the event to work.
* On the day of the event (or, in the case of wrestling activity spanning more than one day, on the last day of the individual engaging in competition or participation), talent and referees will be required to undergo a third NMT molecular PCR swab test. The third test is being required for contact tracing being conducted by, and being documented by, the commission. The commission considers contact tracing to be essential to reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
* All individuals entering the venue must have his or her temperature taken and recorded at the door via an infrared thermometer. No one will be permitted entry into the venue with a temperature reading of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
* Any individual other than the participants who is either working in the ring enclosure area or physically interacting with participants (i.e. an athletic trainer) must undergo the second and third NMT molecular PCR swab tests in the respective time frames. All such individuals other than the ring announcer will be required to wear a mask covering both the nose and mouth at all times.
* All other individuals present at the venue in any capacity will be required to wear a mask covering both the nose and mouth at all times and to maintain a social distance from each other of at least six feet at all times.
ROH made the decision in mid-March to cease running shows until there was a safe way to resume. The company continued to pay its talent and staff during the hiatus while creating content on other platforms.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the company recently made several changes to their creative team. Hunter “Delirious” Johnston has been promoted back as the head of creative. Former head of creative Marty Scurll has been on an indefinite hiatus due to ROH’s on-going investigations regarding the recent allegations against him.
More on AEW’s Talent Releases
As noted before, AEW released Jimmy Havoc, Bea Priestley, and Sadie Gibbs from their roster earlier this week.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason for Priestley and Gibbs’ releases were due to both only working part-time for the company and neither being able to travel to the United States due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions.
The recent signing of Eddie Kingston, Ricky Starks, and others might have also contributed to AEW’s decision to cut back on some of their foreign-based talent.
Misc. Wrestling News & Notes
Pineapple Pete recently stated on Twitter that this past Tuesday’s episode of AEW Dark was his final appearance for the company for now.
New Japan Pro Wrestling cancelled a Summer Struggle event on Thursday in Uwajima, Japan as a precautionary measure due to one of their talents developed a fever prior to the event. The company announced on Friday that their event on Sunday in Shizuoka will take place as scheduled due to testing results came back negative for the coronavirus for the talent who had fever symptoms.
Major League Wrestling reportedly recently signed a deal with streaming provider Fubo TV to air their weekly MLW Fusion series on their service, according to Deadline.com.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre reportedly will be resuming weekly events in Mexico City starting on September 4th, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling announced that they have cancelled their August 16th and August 22nd events due to a member of their roster recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
Stardom announced that they cancelled Saturday’s event in Osaka, Japan due to a member of their roster recently developed a high fever.