SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW finished their tapings just a few minutes ago in Norcross, Ga. before the Midnight deadline Thursday night to close down all non-essential business. Sources from AEW indicate they have enough footage taped to create storyline-advancing matches that can fill two hours of weekly TV for TNT every Wednesday night for weeks if not months if necessary. Some of the matches could end up airing on AEW Dark instead of Dynamite if stay-at-home orders lighten up and it seems prudent and safe to gather wrestlers and crew again to film new content after a few weeks of isolation.
A Georgia state official attended today’s taping to be oversee the event and make sure AEW was abiding by the rules and regulations of social spacing and maximum number of people in one place at a time. All proper paperwork was filed and local officials were notified ahead of time of the precautions AEW took. AEW has been rotating staff and wrestlers for weeks dating back to the empty-venue Dynamites in Jacksonville, Fla. at Daily’s Place, moving people in to do their job to help set-up or do pre-tapes, and then moving them out and replacing them with essential in-ring and on-air personnel for the actual broadcasts and tapings.
The AEW wrestlers utilized on Dynamite this week are also the wrestlers who taped matches today. No one else flew in or drove in other than Chris Jericho, who participated in some of the commentary. The TNT Heavyweight Tournament was taped to set up the finals, currently scheduled for the May 23 “Double or Nothing” PPV.
AEW also pre-taped matches in Jacksonville last month, including the Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager AEW Title match that airs in two weeks which will have Jim Ross on commentary. So AEW will be able to feature first-run matches with wrestlers in coming weeks other than just those who appeared on camera last night, since they taped matches in Jacksonville with a different crew.
Almost every wrestler at the Georgia TV tapings this week either are from the Southeast area and drove in to the TV tapings themselves, avoiding public transportation, or have been staying in the area even if they live outside of it. There were one or two people at the tapings who flew in, but they were not from “hot spots” such as New York or Washington. AEW wrestlers who live outside of the Southeast and thus are not within reasonable driving distance have been intentionally kept away so AEW would have two distinct groups who hadn’t intermingled for weeks. The idea was to have no chance of the entire roster having to self-isolate at once by making sure there’s a hard divide between two distinct groups for at least two weeks.
PWTorch has asked and been told there is no knowledge of anyone having any COVID-19 symptoms.
AEW will be mixing matches week to week from the Norcross, Ga. tapings and the Jacksonville, Fla. tapings, plus adding new interviews and content from wrestlers stationed at home in isolation to augment the in-ring content.
All wrestlers and personnel are being instructed to go into isolation for two weeks before mixing with anyone else, and thus be ready to produce new content without fear of having been exposed to COVID-19 by others in the mean time should they reconvene for more TV events later this month or next month, if practical and legal.
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Not sure how they were “abiding by the rules and regulations of social spacing” when wrestlers, referees, and commentators are touching each other and not separated by 6 feet?
Aew should reach out to its contacts in Japan, Mexico and the indys and pay to show never before seen matches on Tv.Especially ones that feature its Roster. Or feature people they might be able to use at a later date.