KUSHIDA Contracted COVID-19 Last Month
Prior to the start of the August 17th episode of NXT, KUSHIDA was pulled from his scheduled NXT Cruiserweight Championship match against Roderick Strong. WWE had announced that the reason for KUSHIDA’s removal was due to him not being medically cleared to compete.
KUSHIDA recently announced on Instagram that the reason for his removal from the August 17th episode of NXT and his recent absence from NXT programming was due to him having tested positive for COVID-19 last month.
“I hope everyone is okay. Three weeks ago, I was not available for my title match on NXT TV. I tested positive for COVID-19. My family also tested positive. Fortunately, everyone is okay. My wife and I are fully vaccinated, but we still got the virus. Fortunately, the vaccine has given us immunity, but we experienced some symptoms. We have very low energy and I lost my sense of smell and taste. We are recovering. Everyone is feeling better now. The pandemic isn’t over. Please stay safe. I will see you in the ring soon.”
Transcript h/t: Fightful.com
Jake Atlas Comments on His WWE Release
As noted before, Jake Atlas was among thirteen NXT and developmental talent released by WWE last month.
A recent episode of Instinct Culture by Denise Salcedo had Atlas as the guest and one of the topics discussed included his thoughts on his recent release from WWE.
“I was at dinner, it was that Friday night and I got a call from WWE incorporated. So that must mean that I don’t have the contact because that was the caller ID. So I was like ‘that’s interesting, anyone that has to call me, I have their name saved.’ There’s a lot that needs to be unraveled, but I’ll answer your question first then we can dive into the specifics. It was John Laurinaitis who I’ve never had a conversation with, he called me and he said that they are executing my 30-day non-compete clause and that was that. It was a 20 second conversation, I didn’t ask any questions, I was already expecting it and I kinda just numbed myself for the phone call.
My entire run in WWE was the most, and I don’t know how to word this, it was probably the worst mentally I have ever been. My mental health was probably the worst it’s ever been, the last two years that I was with WWE. So when I turned down the contract extension, I counter offered with some terms of my own and I more than anything wanted a meeting with Triple H and our conversations were kind of at a standstill and as you know Canyon ended up getting let go himself. So then that put me in a really weird situation, I had asked Canyon for my release at some point in our conversations, it wasn’t a ‘I wanna leave,’ it was more so a conversation of ‘ I want to be here, and feel like I have so much value and I feel like I am not being heard.’ I had requested a meeting with Triple H for 6 months, and I never got it. I think that that was the thing that kinda had me worrying the most in that ‘I don’t know how they see me, or how they view me, or how they value me.’ There were a lot of things that I wanted to do and talk about and I was just given the runaround. So I said that ‘I wanted to ask for my release, I don’t want to, I want to stay but my mental health comes first and I am suffering.’”
Transcript h/t: PostWrestling.com
Updated WWE Friday Night SmackDown Ratings
This past Friday’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a final viewership of 2,220,000 on FOX, according to ShowBuzz Daily. This was up compared to the initial overnight number of 2,147,000 viewers on the network.