In an unprecedented move from WWE, the showcase of the immortals will now take place in front of no fans with thousands of American and international members of the WWE Universe being told that they will not be making the trip to Florida for this year’s event.
The move comes in the wake of great scrutiny from all directions, with pressure being put on WWE to make a decision one way or the other. The news was confirmed in the following statement shortly before Monday Night RAW, which also took place at the Performance Center, went on the air.
“In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place. However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania.”
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is set to defend his WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre, whereas ex-UFC bantamweight Shayna Baszler is scheduled to challenge Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Championship.
Many comparisons have been drawn between the UFC and WWE over the course of the last few days, with both companies attempting to put on shows despite the odds being against them. However, despite WWE suggesting WrestleMania will still go ahead, it still appears as if there’s a chance that won’t happen.
Fight Oracle on Twitter has noted that the City of Orlando could still decide to shut down the event if things continue to escalate, but if that happens, WWE would likely still receive a payout from their insurance providers as they’ve been seen to do everything they can to mitigate damages by moving the venue.
While the report also suggests that they could be aiming to re-locate it to Madison Square Garden in early June, that still appears to be quite a quick turnaround.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/16/2020.