Every major sporting and entertainment company in the United States has announced plans to cancel shows for the foreseeable future but WWE still plans on continuing with plans to run WrestleMania in the Tampa area and wrestlers in the company are concerned.
Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso says he reached out to over 20 members of the WWE roster and he heard back from more than a dozen and they each expressed concern about performing in front of a massive crowd amid concerns about the coronavirus.
Wrestlers have kept their feelings private but at least a couple of them have indicated on social media that the show should be shut down.
Roman Reigns liked the following tweet from a fan:
Please take extra precautions and sit out WrestleMania if you have to. As a cancer survivor, you are already likely to have a compromised immune system. 😭💔
A concerned fan”
Lio Rush tweeted, “Shut it all down.”
As of now, WWE has not given any indications that they plan on canceling the show but the majority of WWE talent feel the show should be canceled.
Tampa officials are leaving it to WWE to make a decision sometime within the next week and they say they will hold a meeting if WWE does not take action so the show may end up being canceled. WWE issued the following statement on Thursday:
“While we remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that it is canceled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues. The health and safety of our fans, performers, and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay.”
Tonight’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown will take place at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida and it looks like the same may happen with Monday Night Raw but the situation with WrestleMania is more complex because thousands of fans fly in from around the world and around the country for WrestleMania weekend and the events surrounding the big show.
WrestleMania in an empty stadium or at the Performance Center are possibilities but seem unlikely since the atmosphere of a massive crowd is a big part of the event. At this point, I would lean towards postponing the show but even that is a tricky situation since several major storylines are building with the idea for them to peak in April at Mania.