Roman Reigns, Big E & More Miss December 26 WWE House Shows
Positive tests and precautionary measures
WWE's holiday live event tour got underway on Sunday, December 26 with a Raw house show from New York City's Madison Square Garden and a SmackDown live event from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Neither card went ahead as originally advertised, though, as several talents were pulled from the house shows, according to PWInsider.
On the Raw side, WWE Champion Big E, Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins and Zelina Vega all missed the Madison Square Garden event. Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Xavier Woods missed the SmackDown house show in Tampa.
Talent being pulled from the holiday house shows comes only days after WWE's latest COVID-19 outbreak, with reports having noted that several WWE Superstars and staff members felt unwell following the December 19 house show and December 20 Monday Night Raw taping. "Some" then subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.
WWE announced at the beginning of both December 26 house shows that talent would be missing from the card due to the "effects of COVID-19". Seth Rollins has since confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 over the holiday period, tweeting: "Merry Covid Christmas to me!!!! I LOVE FOOTBALL!!!"
Not all talent kept off the house shows have tested positive, though, according to Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, and WWE kept some Superstars off the live events to ensure the Day 1 pay-per-view headliners are at less risk of missing the major show.