Despite rumors suggesting that WWE’s eventual plan is to reschedule WrestleMania 36 and move it to Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 7, the official word remains the same — the event will take place on April 5 at the company’s Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, with no fans in attendance. However, the absence of spectators might mean that WWE will have to remove a few matches from the scheduled card, as a new report claims.
On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer brought up the fact that this week’s Monday Night Raw only had one match. As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, he explained that this was because of what happened during last week’s Friday Night SmackDown, where WWE officials realized that such a setup “doesn’t work” due to the lack of a live audience.
“They had 16 matches lined up. I don’t know if they will even do 16 matches at this point,” Meltzer said, echoing a previous rumor as he continued. “There may not even be a WrestleMania on April 5th either. They announced that but [if] one guy on that roster getting the virus or one major celebrity getting in in Florida or an outbreak in Florida, then it’s not happening.”
While the world of sports has seen several professional athletes — including at least seven NBA players, as of this writing — test positive for coronavirus, there have been no reports of any WWE superstars or employees receiving similar positive tests. The company, however, has one particular performer with a potentially compromised immune system in Roman Reigns, on account of his recent battle with leukemia. Reigns is scheduled to face Goldberg at WrestleMania 36, in a match for the latter’s Universal Championship.
— WWE (@WWE) March 17, 2020
Additionally, WrestlingNews.co speculated that the men’s and women’s battle royals, which typically feature no fewer than 20 participants, might be too dangerous to run due to the sheer number of people in the ring at the same time.
Although it’s unclear which other matches are most likely to be pulled from the WrestleMania 36 card, Meltzer added that there also might be a few scheduled bouts where some of the rumored competitors won’t be involved after all. These include the planned three-way Women’s Tag Team Championship Match, where The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) are expected to defend their titles against the duos of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and Natalya and Beth Phoenix. So far, WWE’s storylines have not pointed to the latter pair taking part in the match.
“There are many suggestions going around but nothing is official,” Meltzer related. “You would think it would be [official at] this late a date and it’s not. I know they had the complete card on February 17th and now they don’t.”