As reported earlier today, WWE's match card for this Sunday's TLC PPV event is in a state of chaos. Two major matches have had to be changed, adding a Hall of Famer to one match and creating a dream match scenario elsewhere on the show.
First of all, it was announced that Roman Reigns will be unable to compete at the show due to an illness. He had to be pulled from The Shield's big match, and Kurt Angle will be stepping back into the ring to replace him.
Obviously, WWE probably had bigger plans for Kurt's in-ring return, but desperate times calls for desperate measures. The WWE Hall of Famer last wrestled for WWE in 2006, though he has been active in the ring since, last wrestling on March 3, 2017 in a steel cage match against Cody Rhodes on the independent circuit.
Elsewhere on the card, Bray Wyatt will be unable to compete due to illness. He will be replaced by WWE SmackDown's AJ Styles, setting up a dream match between Styles and Finn Balor. Fans have long dreamed of a bout pitting the two former leaders of New Japan's Bullet Club, and they'll get it this Sunday out of nowhere.
So what's going on? Bray Wyatt, his brother Bo Dallas, and ring announcer JoJo (Bray's real life girlfriend) had been reported to be suffering from bacterial meningitis and were removed from the traveling roster. According to Wrestling Inc., WWE began testing the RAW roster for meningitis and discovered the presence of the mumps. This particular illness typically takes several days or a week to go-away, so we don't know when they will be able to get back on the road.
We can not confirm what exactly Roman Reigns is suffering from at this time, nor can we officially confirm that Wyatt, Dallas, and JoJo are suffering from mumps. We are relaying the information that WWE is apparently testing for that particular condition and according to the Wrestling Inc. report, the company discovered it is present.
WWE responded to the Wrestling Inc. report about the illness being the mumps.
"We have confirmed that three of our performers have been diagnosed with a viral infection. As a precautionary measure, we are ensuring in-ring performers and staff are tested and immunized in accordance with recommended medical guidelines."
It's unknown at this point if the SmackDown roster will be tested for the illness as well. Right now, it appears to be relegated to the RAW roster. Either way, it's easy to see how the condition could spread very quickly, with performers sharing the same locker room and traveling together several days a week, not to mention working closely in a wrestling ring.
The Wrestling Inc. report goes on to note that once a performer has been tested, they can't work until their results have come back in. Mumps typically takes a couple of weeks to show up after being contacted, and it can be spread via saliva, coughing, and sneezing as it is an airborne illness.