Bengaluru, April 1: WWE might be the only sports-entertainment outlet in the entire world which has continued to produce contents despite the coronavirus pandemic. They have not missed out on even a single episode of Raw, Smackdown and also Wrestlemania which is known as the biggest event of the year.
Although they conducted shows without audience, WWE managed to make the show bigger by conducting it across two nights. Vince McMahon was hell-bent on non-cancellation of show-tapings, at any cost as the company has to take care of the lucrative TV deals with NBCUniversal and FOX.
And now, the closed doors shows are expected to continue at least for one more month under the present circumstances. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect the USA badly, the latest reports state that WWE events through April have been cancelled.
The WWE Performance Center in Florida will now be treated as the home of tapings for Raw, Smackdown and NXT without any audience. Currently, Orange County in Florida where the PC and Full Sail University is located can’t tape anything as a stay-home mandate is in full effect until April 9th.
However, It does not hamper WWE’s weekly programs as they have already taped recent NXT, 205 Live, RAW and SmackDown episodes at the empty Performance Center. Both nights of WrestleMania 36 were also recorded along with the April 6 episode of Raw and April 8 edition of NXT.
Currently, WWE is looking forward to air the April 10 (the stay-home mandate in Orange County, Florida gets lifted on this date) SmackDown episode, live from the WWE Performance Center, instead of taped format. The April 15 NXT episode from the NXT Arena at Full Sail University might also air live if the situation gets better but nothing is confirmed, at this point.
As for cancellations of WWE tours, the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut confirmed that April 27th episode of Monday Night Raw has been canceled.
Ticketmaster will soon contact the ticket holders with more details and give them instructions on how to get refunds. But the Times Union Center in Albany, New York is selling tickets for the very next Friday Night SmackDown episode on May 1st.
It indicates that WWE hopes to begin their usual touring schedule with full production and crews from May onward.
"It will be interesting to see if WWE resumes regular touring at arenas across the country, with fans in attendance, during the month of May. Everything is up in the air due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and some see May as being too soon for some of the coronavirus-related restrictions to be lifted." (courtesy wrestlingINC.com)