Ariya Daivari Recalls Vince McMahon Not Wanting NXT Talent in The WWE Locker Room During COVID-19 Pandemic
The rosters remained split at the height of the Pandemic
Ariya Daivari has recalled hearing about Vince McMahon stopping NXT talent from coming up to the main roster and using the locker room due to concerns they were spreading coronavirus at the height of the pandemic.
Reports circulated last year, as WWE presented Raw, SmackDown and NXT in front of no fans, that the members of the black-and-gold brand were not being called up to the main roster for fears of them transmitting COVID-19 to other talent, putting a halt to creative plans.
Daivari has now revealed that this was the reason the 205 Live roster also started working alongside NXT, with one person on the main roster getting COVID-19 from an NXT talent.
Speaking to Matt Rehwoldt on Straight Shooting, Daivari said: "The whole reason 205 Live got moved back to NXT is because NXT was having a little bit of a COVID issue compared to the main roster. A handful of guys were getting coronavirus and this was around the time where nobody really knew exactly how serious this was. They are having a COVID issue in NXT and I believe someone on the main roster got infected.
"Word got out and it basically boiled down to, 'NXT is giving main roster guys coronavirus.' I forget who I was going to wrestle but we were going to do an episode of 205 Live at the ThunderDome and all of a sudden they came up to me and were like, 'We're changing the card. These three guys gotta go.' They kicked some NXT guys out of the locker room and sent them home because this is when we were still in Orlando for the ThunderDome.
"Me and Isaiah Scott had to do a 15-minute match on 20 minutes' notice. He was wrestling someone else, I was wrestling someone else, both of our opponents got sent home, so we put this match together.
"After that, what I was told was Vince was like, 'No more NXT guys on the main roster during the pandemic.' Guys were just coming up to 205 Live. He said, 'No more NXT guys in the locker room.' I was told NXT was having too many cases of COVID and Vince didn't want NXT guys in the SmackDown locker room because they might bring COVID."