The status of this year’s WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view is still up in the air, according to a recent backstage update from WrestleVotes. The company was focused on having a live audience back for the August event, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s unclear if that will be possible.
“Recently asked for an update on SummerSlam, source said 2 or 3 weeks ago he was certain WWE would find a way to do it w/ an audience. Today, very much unsure. As badly as they don’t want the event at the PC, unfortunately that’s very much on the table. Decision not yet imminent.”
The Performance Center in Orlando, Florida has been host to all of WWE’s shows in recent months. This included WrestleMania, which resulted in the show taking a massive financial hit. SummerSlam is considered WWE’s second-biggest show of the calendar year, so the company may want to change the venue to prevent incurring further financial losses.
As documented by WrestlingNews.co, the decision to not press forward with hosting the event in front of a live crowd is possibly related to the spike in positive COVID-19 cases within the company. Renee Young, Kayla Braxton, and several other superstars and employees have been infected with the disease in recent weeks, which has brought some negative attention to WWE for their decision to continue putting on shows.
The rise in positive coronavirus cases also coincided with WWE’s decision to let the friends and family members of employees attend shows to make up crowd numbers. Before they were allowed admission, developmental superstars filled in for the absent audience.
Since the recent cases were confirmed, however, the company has since banned outside personnel from attending weekly shows and pay-per-views. The timing to bring in random fans might not be ideal for this particular event.
WWE’s coronavirus testing has also been the subject of much criticism. Until the latest cases were confirmed, the company was reportedly only checking employees’ temperatures prior to television tapings. Checking a live crowd prior to SummerSlam could also be complicated given the volume of people who might show up.
The news of the COVID-19 spikes has also resulted in some talents taking time off from the company, including major stars like Kevin Owens. The company has a depleted roster at the moment, and there’s no telling if more superstars will go on hiatus in the lead up to the event.
According to recent reports, the company may still hold some live events with fans later this month. However, that’s all speculation for now.