It may not be the most ideal thing in the world for professional wrestling fans, but at least WWE didn’t cancel the event entirely. Due to the threat of the coronavirus, WrestleMania 36, which is scheduled to take place on April 5 in Tampa, has been canceled. This is a move that has been expected and thought to happen, but on Monday, it was made official and the big pay-per-view is being moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
Earlier in the day, rumors were flying around that WrestleMania 36 would take place in an empty Raymond James Stadium with no fans. As reported by The Inquisitr, this is an idea that Vince McMahon was reportedly not very happy with and had it listed as his last possible option.
After Tampa city officials met last week and said that WWE needed to act soon or they would pull the plug, the move has finally been made. The official website of WWE has released a statement which is short and to the point to let fans know that WrestleMania 36 will still take place, but in a new venue and with no fans.
“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 P.M. 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.”
Yes, WrestleMania 36 will air live on the WWE Network for fans around the world watching at home. Superstars and essential personnel will be on hand at the Performance Center for the event, but fans will not be in attendance to view it before their very eyes.
Not knowing the exact status of the event and if it would happen at all due to the threat of the coronavirus, the build-up has been very slow. As a matter of fact, only five official matches have been announced for an event card that usually ends up with 14 or 15 once all is said and done.
As of this writing, here are the confirmed matches for WrestleMania 36:
- WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
- WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg (c) vs. Roman Reigns
- NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
- Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
- Bray “The Fiend” Wyatt vs. John Cena
With two episodes each of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown before the PPV, many more matches will be added. It was just a really confusing time for everyone as fans weren’t even entirely sure that the biggest show of the year would take place at all.
WrestleMania 36 happening at the WWE Performance Center and in front of no fans will be very strange, but at least it wasn’t totally canceled. The statement has now been made official and it is good to know that it will still take place even if it is different than it has ever been before.