The latest victim of coronavirus is WrestleMania, which today announced they would move the event from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
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.
It’s a huge blow to Tampa Bay, a community with a deep tradition of professional wrestling and one that was ready to embrace the “Showcase of The Immortals.” But now the biggest event in sports entertainment will take place with no crowds, no crowd reactions, no pyrotechnics, no opulent entrances... no anything. And considering this is a scripted event performed not as an athletic competition but as an art form, it’s going to be extremely difficult to re-create what makes the art of professional wrestling special in front of empty chairs.
As with many decisions made by the WWE as of late, this one is a head-scratcher. Why not either postpone the event or cancel it all together? The fans seem to agree. A sampling:
What's the point? It's not wrestlemania is it? Not really... https://t.co/JmKUQKtHN9— Si Marshall °o° ⚽⛳ ️♂️ (@skillschampion2) March 16, 2020
Dear @WWE ,— Gary Ess (@G_Semerdjian) March 16, 2020
Just replace Summerslam with @WrestleMania this year. Everyone would understand & prefer it. Your fans and superstars deserve to be together for the biggest event in Professional Wrestling!!! Please rethink your decision!
I have absolutely no interest in watching a wrestlemania from the performance center, them cancelling it this year would of been a much better outcome than this. Why does vince insist on carrying on no matter what, wwe are literally the only company in the world still running— WWE/NXT (@wweukfanatic) March 16, 2020
Branding whatever this Zombie pay-per-view will be as WrestleMania, the biggest event in pro wrestling, just seems foolish. But we’ll see what the creative team can do with what will be a very tough, if not impossible, show to book and make fans happy.