WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon initially wanted to stage WrestleMania 36 in an empty Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida once the coronavirus pandemic broke out. McMahon’s promotion has been dealt with a massive blow amid the COVID-19 outbreak as it has left all WrestleMania plans in tatters.
The professional wrestling megashow was initially set to take place in the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday in front of over 60,000 fans.
According to Sports Illustrated, McMahon wanted the show to air from its original venue in front of empty stands but had to pivot for reasons outside of his control.
The first obstacle was the state government of Florida that didn’t think it was appropriate to host a sports show with fireworks and glitter amid a serious pandemic that has claimed 64,316 lives around the world.
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The Chairman also conceded that this wouldn’t work aesthetically either as performing in front of an empty stadium would have been detrimental to the show.
Therefore, the WWE supremo moved the event to the Performance Center in Orlando and filmed the entire show behind closed doors as a safety precaution.
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WrestleMania of course will air throughout the weekend as a two-part show with some highly entertaining matches set to take place.
But the coronavirus chaos took another toll on WWE as several superstars had to pull out of the event as a matter of safety.
The most glaring absence is that of Roman Reigns who decided not to compete due to his history of leukaemia, which puts him at risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dana Brooke, Rey Mysterio and SmackDown Tag Team Champion The Miz also had to be omitted after reportedly going into quarantine.
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Mysterio was scheduled to challenge US Champion Andrade whereas Brooke would be part of a Six Pack Challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley is now set to defend her belt in a Fatal 5-Way Match against Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Naomi and Tamina.
Miz was set to team up with his tag team partner John Morrison to take on The Usos as well as Big E and Kofi Kingston of The New Day in a Triple Threat Ladder Match.
However, with The A-Lister pulling out, Morrison will now defend the titles on his own against Jimmy Uso and Kingston in a Ladder Match.
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