WrestleMania 36 Cancelled, Event Will Now Stream Live From WWE Performance Center

WrestleMania 36 Cancelled, Event Will Now Stream Live From WWE Performance Center
Image: WWE

WrestleMania 36 has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. In its place, a reduced event with no audience will take place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida this April.

The cancellation was expected for several weeks, with speculation growing over whether the city of Tampa would shut down in the wake of Florida’s mounting coronavirus crisis.

Last week, Fox 13 reported that Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller (of Tampa Bay) said the county would cancel the event should WWE not call it off. “I’m hoping that Vince McMahon and WrestleMania and WWE make the call themselves but a week from now, if they’ve not done that and we’re still in the situation we’re in, we’ll probably have to pull the plug,” Miller told reporters.

It’s not known whether this decision was made by WWE itself, or forced by Tampa officials. On March 17, it was confirmed that there were 160 coronavirus cases in the state, including five deaths.

With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control And Prevention this week recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled over the next eight weeks to slow the spread of coronavirus, the cancellation of this year’s WrestleMania arena show was inevitable.

Last year’s WrestleMania took place at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey and recorded an ‘official’ attendance of 82,265 (although these numbers are often inflated by WWE for ‘record-breaking’ purposes). This year’s show was to take place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, which has in the past recorded crowds of 74,512. As one would imagine, the potential for a coronavirus outbreak to spread amongst crowds of that size is enormous.

In its place, WWE will host a reduced version of WrestleMania 36 from its home training facility, the WWE Performance Center. It’s the same location that hosted SmackDown over the weekend. That show featured awkward silences and unusual promos delivered to empty seats.

It’s currently unclear what contingencies or changes WWE is planning for the scaled down event.

The following matches are scheduled to main event the show:

  • Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
  • John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
  • Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
  • Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
  • The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton

Changes to these planned matches are currently unconfirmed.

Last year, WrestleMania earned WWE around $27.7 million ($US16.9 million) in attendance alone (not counting online streaming figures). It’s likely that WWE’s financials will suffer a similar loss with this change of venue, although the full impact is so far unclear.

You’ll be able to stream WrestleMania 36 live from the WWE Performance Center on the WWE Network 7:30am on Monday, April 6 AEDT.

Expect a very different WrestleMania spectacular this year.

Comments

  • I haven’t bothered with WWE in quite some time, but wrestling without an audience is the most awkward thing in existence. The whole shtick depends on crowd reactions.

    • If you can, watch the Smackdown from last week, which is the first of the no audience shows, its quite bizarre and eerie, but it became quite an enjoyable show

  • I really feel sorry for Rhea Ripley. It’s not just big for an Australian to have a big time match in front of a huge crowd but for NXT too.

  • Theres a rumor going around that the whole Performance Center stuff for Wrestlemania might be an insurance thing. They’re insured for this sort of thing, but need to do ‘everything possible’ to hold the event at the time planned. As New Sail University is on lockdown, its quite likely they’ll be told they cant do it, at which point they can go to the insurers and say “we did what we could”, be covered, then reschedule in a month or two.

    For Raw and Smackdown, the number of people there is very low. Only 1 or 2 matches, with lots of interviews, speeches and replays. There might not be 20 people in the place, which is acceptable. Something like Wrestlemania, even being at the Performance Center, will have a lot of people around just because its Wrestlemania. Which could easily put them above the cutoff point to be blocked.

    The wrestling industry as a whole is a very interesting reflection on the whole pandemic actually. Some companies are going ahead, albeit crowdless, others have had to cancel pretty much everything. Even down to individuals being effected. But where they can, the show goes on.

    One story is getting some airplay regarding an Aussie wrestler, Shazza Mckenzie (yes, thats her persona). She had a buttload of events booked for Wrestlemania weekend across a lot of independent promotions, almost all of which have now been cancelled. So wont be getting paid for a month or two.

    To top it off, thanks to our (totally necessary) 14 day self isolation, she cant really come back to Australia either, as things could change incredibly quickly and events could appear out of nowhere as bans are lifted. Makes for a sad but interesting snapshot of the whole situation.

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