By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Kevin Owens spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated and confirmed that he took some time away from WWE due to the pandemic. “I hurt my ankle at WrestleMania so I needed time off, and then I came back—and then I went away again,” Owens said. “I just felt like it was the right move for my family and I to sit out a few of the tapings of Raw and assess the COVID outbreak. We live in Orlando, so it’s not just going to the Performance Center. It’s everywhere. We thought it was the right time to quarantine and practice safe guidelines. Last week, I saw the measures that the company was taking, from the testing to the splitting up the crews to make sure Raw and SmackDown wouldn’t be there the same day, and sending out very clear very indications that masks were required unless we were in the ring.”
Owens also spoke about WWE issuing fines for workers not wearing masks at the WWE Performance Center and took credit for the idea. “It’s been brought up—at first, the masks weren’t being taken seriously enough,” he said. “Eventually, a fine system was implemented to make sure people took it seriously. That came from me. I thought that the masks weren’t being worn seriously enough, so I went and talked to the people in charge. They immediately did what they could to remedy the situation. I don’t blame anybody for the mask thing. It’s easy to forget how important those masks are. Some people just straight up believe that the masks don’t make a difference, and that’s their belief. But if we’re all going to work together and we’re all trying to keep each other safe, I think it matters. If you’ve had somebody in your family affected by this the way my family was, it’s a lot easier to remember that these masks make a huge difference.” Read the full interview at SI.com.
Powell’s POV: Owens noted that his wife lost her grandfather to COVID-19. I give him a lot of credit for pushing for the masks at the PC, and for speaking out publicly in favor of masks in a respectful manner on his social media pages. While we’re on the subject of masks, I continue to openly wish that every pro wrestling company (and every non-wrestling company for that matter) would donate a percentage of the profits they make from selling medical masks to COVID-19 related charities. I don’t know if anyone out there is doing that, but it seems like a great way for the business to give back, and obviously they would not be selling these masks if it weren’t for the pandemic. As for the interview, Owens spoke about working with Seth Rollins, his desire to work with Rey Mysterio, using Twitter page in unique ways, and more. A highly recommended interview.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast features Shane Taylor returning to discuss ROH Wrestling, his friendship with WWE's Erik (Ray Rowe) and attending his viking wedding, his relationship with the SOS tag team, his feud with EC3 and their history, the Cleveland pro wrestler connection, and much more...