It’s safe to say that the last few weeks have been pretty rough.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached pandemic levels, spreading all over the world in a way many have never seen before.
As a result, sports leagues like the NBA, NHL, and MLB have postponed their seasons until further notice. Some minor leagues have even cancelled the rest of their seasons and the NCAA has cancelled both their men’s and women’s tournaments.
WWE is no exception, cancelling recent live events and moving SmackDown, RAW, and NXT to the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
But, to the surprise of no one, they have yet to cancel their biggest event of the year, WrestleMania 36. Instead, they have decided to move it to an empty WWE Performance Center.
They didn’t really have a choice, according to Hillsborough County commissioner, Les Miller. He gave the company an ultimatum: if they don’t cancel or make other plans by next week and the situation doesn’t change, he’s going to pull the plug himself.
It also doesn’t help that the CDC is recommending cancelling gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. And with the unpredictability of this pandemic, all it takes is one WWE superstar to fall victim or an infection big enough to ban all social gathering and plan B is well and truly out of the window.
Alongside the current Performance Centre can WWE do to make sure there is still a WrestleMania this year? They supposedly already have contingency plans in place, but honestly, there really aren’t a lot of options.
The current plan is to relocate the show to another venue, which is the WWE Performance Centre.
With most states having already banned events with more than 50-250 people, coupled with the number of all the essential staff and wrestlers there, literally no fans can attend it.
As previously mentioned, they’ve already held last week’s SmackDown there, as well as last night’s RAW. The word is that NXT will also remain at the PC until at least the end of the month.
Just the thought of having a show as grand as WrestleMania in front of no fans is… quite odd. I could only imagine how the superstars would feel; having their WrestleMania moment in an empty arena would certainly feel strange.
Seeing the return of Edge with no reaction. Witnessing Drew McIntyre win the world title with no pop. It just seems a little depressing doesn’t it?
I’m sure WWE would at least get some money out of it, considering if people are willing to still purchase the WWE Network to see it. I wouldn’t be shocked if they get a big subscription bump personally.
Granted, they are more than likely going to potentially take a hefty financial hit, but it’s better safe than sorry.
The other option that comes to mind is to just reschedule the show for a later date. For me, this is the most ideal choice for WWE, especially if they want the usual large crowd in attendance.
The only issue is how long they might have to wait. If the CDC’s recommendation goes into effect all over the United States, it means that the show couldn’t go on until at least mid-May at the earliest.
But even at that rate, no one can predict how this situation will develop by then. The virus may be on its way out, or it could still be affecting large parts of the country.
Having to reschedule not only WrestleMania itself, but also WrestleMania Axxess and everything else that comes with it could prove problematic. It could also greatly affect attendance, especially if a lot of fans can’t make it during the summer.
This is the option I could see WWE going with if they want to try and make as much money as possible. Let’s be real, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve chosen money over public opinion and safety. I’m looking at you, Crown Jewel and Super ShowDown.
In reality, there’s no easy solution or alternative here. Someone is going to end up taking a hit, whether it’s the fans, WWE, or both.
Sports and wrestling are an escape for many people, and not having it right now is surly taking its toll on some. If you feel up to it, try to find other things to help occupy your time. This can be anything; listen to some music, play some video games, read a book, or do some yoga.
But most importantly, check up on your friends and make sure they’re okay. You never know how this whole situation is affecting them, and perhaps hearing from someone they care about could help brighten their day.
From everyone here at TWM, we hope you are all hanging in there. This is only temporary, and things will get better soon.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay kind!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!