This site (and this writer) have taken WWE to task for their decision to mostly ignore COVID-19 in their on-screen product. The company chose to use all their air time attempting to be an entertaining diversion, rather than dedicate even a few minutes encouraging their audience to follow public health guidelines, or allowing their Superstars to send encouraging messages to fans struggling with life during the pandemic.
We saw a slight change in this approach when then-WWE champion Drew McIntyre tested positive for COVID. Now, with vaccine distribution happening in stages around most of the world, and some hope that means the worst is behind us, the company is promoting vaccination efforts.
To their credit, it’s not the first time they’ve done public service announcements around COVID prevention and treatment. Like those early hand washing videos, however, this spot is so far only available online – it did not air during the Mar. 12 SmackDown. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: Some fans are reporting this spot did air during last night’s broadcast, but I and others on the Cageside staff did not see it on the version aired in our markets.]
My cynical side also can’t help but notice WWE is rolling out this promotion just before WrestleMania 37 tickets go on sale, and as the company clearly hopes to start generating more live event revenue in the second half of this year. But as the comments under a tweeted version of the PSA (and the fact WWE isn’t allowing users to weigh in on YouTube at all) show, there’s still a lot of resistance to measures like vaccination which will help the world safely get back to something approaching normal. Any help WWE wants to provide, for whatever reason they provide it, is very welcome.
So listen to Daniel Bryan, Bianca Belair, Rey Mysterio, and Montez Ford. Keep tabs on vaccine availability in your area, and get a shot when you can.