As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the world, all sports leagues from professional to the recreational levels have either postponed or cancelled their events due to the risk of being vulnerable to the virus. Although not a “sport,” rather “sports-entertainment,” the WWE has shown no plans of slowing down or cancelling any other televised events.
As the NBA, NCAA, and MLB are in the process of rescheduling or shutting down activities, the WWE has continued to produce content despite not allowing fans into their shows. Temporarily moved to their training facility, also known as their “Performance Center,” to coordinate shows instead of the originally planned arena venues, the WWE has gone through their normal operations in displaying their product.
It should come as no shock that the WWE has not stopped their original plans as their biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, is set to take place April 5. Despite trying to hype the audience with their storylines in pursuit of getting as many people as possible to watch, the “Show of Shows” was scrapped from its original location of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. After the city of Tampa Bay announced that WrestleMania could no longer occur, WWE announced they would officially hold the event at their Performance Center.
Although claiming to have WrestleMania occur at their training facility, rumors are circulating that the company announced this in part to receive insurance for not being able to hold the event in Tampa Bay. According to these rumors, if Orlando, where the Performance Center is located, decides to shut down its city in an effort to prevent further spreading of the coronavirus, then WWE will be having its insurance paid out.
It is then speculated that WWE would reschedule to have the show be held at Madison Square Garden in June. Madison Square Garden has hosted WrestleMania three times in the past, including the first-ever WrestleMania and the show’s 10th and 20th anniversary shows.
It is also a question about the health of wrestlers, especially Roman Reigns. Reigns, arguably the company’s biggest star at the moment, came out of remission from leukemia just over a year ago. Due to a weakened immune system from the cancer, doctors have been paying extremely close attention to Reigns’ health.
Even though Reigns has been monitored, so has the rest of the WWE to a degree. Everyone who enters WWE facilities has had their temperature checked every time before going in for work. Unfortunately for the company, not all wrestlers and employees have been able to get to facilities due to travel restrictions due to coronavirus.
As COVID-19 continues to affect more and more people throughout the world, it will be interesting to see how WWE’s situation is handled and if they continue to go through business as they have done thus far. But with more cases coming up across the globe and more precautions taken every day, it seems to be only a matter of time before WWE and WrestleMania postpone their regular scheduling.
Robert Fallo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @robert_fallo.