The wrestling world was shocked yesterday, when it was announced that Wrestlemania 36 will not commence from the large Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay this year. Instead due to the Coronavirus pandemic prohibiting people from gathering together, Wrestlemania will be held at the WWE Performance Center on April 5th in front of no fans.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, Vince McMahon reportedly came to this drastic decision because he is concerned that this pandemic will not be over soon, and just wants to get Wrestlemania out of the way.
McMahon is reportedly concerned that even if he postponed Wrestlemania for a few months, that there is no guarantee that he will be able to put on the show as planned then. Meltzer also noted that the planned card for Wrestlemania 36 may be changed drastically as well. WWE officials believe that based upon the matches held last Friday on Smackdown that empty arena matches aren’t working. This belief was made evident on Raw this week, with their only being a few minutes of in-ring action on the show.
Thanks to Reddit user FuzzyWuzzyMooMoo for the quotes from Meltzer below:
“At first when we got the message that WrestleMania was going to be held at the Performance Center in front of no fans on April 5. I thought “Oh my God, has Vince lost his mind? Is he so stubborn?” I could not come up with a… You know your talking about giving up $15 million gate, $2 million in merch. Probably other money for other things. It’s like yes you couldn’t do it in April. You couldn’t. It’s impossible. So do it in a couple months. The sobering reality of the situation is, who the hell knows?
I asked, why would you do this? You got all these fans who will come. I mean you know many of them won’t be able to come, but many will. Maybe you won’t have 55,000/60,000 people. Maybe you’ll have 40,000 people. You know in a couple months maybe some people are going to be out of work and they’re not going to be able afford it. There’s all kinds of different scenarios, but it’s still the best of a bad situation. And I was told that he could not confidently say that at any time that they could do this. And it was kind of put to me like “what if there’s no shows until November? What do you do?” So he just wanted to get this out of the way, now it’s gonna be a totally different WrestleMania. Now this is the the other scary part of WrestleMania is that if you watched Raw tonight, which I’m sure many of you did, there was about four minutes of new wrestling in the show maybe three minutes. There was one match, it was broken up by a commercial. They felt that from the Smackdown show that this empty arena match stuff doesn’t work.”
Moving shows to empty arenas is not the only thing that WWE has done to try to combat the Coronavirus. Ryan Satin tweeted earlier today that before WWE will let anyone enter the Performance Center for a television taping they must pass a screening by a team of medical professionals.
Sources say that in order to enter the tapings at the WWE Performance Center amidst the coronavirus pandemic, talent/crew/etc must pass a screening done by a team of physicians.
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) March 17, 2020
Matt’s Musings: Everybody who is tired of the Coronavirus raise their hands, after you finish washing them of course.