In a span of just one week, the coronavirus pandemic has forced WWE to completely change its plans for weekly television and WrestleMania 36. House shows have been canceled, live TV has been moved from arenas to an empty WWE Performance Center and WrestleMania 36 is now a two-day show that will be spread across multiple closed sets in order to avoid having more than 50 people in one enclosed space at a time.
On top of all of that, WWE has had to keep an eye on making sure none of its wrestlers catch the virus. The company released a statement on Monday regarding how it has been examining its talent and production team every time they set foot in the PC.
"In consultation with WWE Medical Director Dr. Maroon, WWE Associate Medical Director Dr. Dugas and ringside physician Dr. Westerfield, as a best practice and precautionary measure all WWE performers and staff are required to participate in medical screenings prior to entering WWE's training center, which is now operating as a closed set," WWE's statement to Sports Illustrated read.
SI's Justin Barrasso then added, "... WWE has established a series of protocols, based on guidelines set by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to minimize risks and protect its performers and staff. Due to the lack of testing for people in need, contacts close to the situation told SI that WWE is not testing those that are asymptomatic."
The latest news on WrestleMania, that it would be expanding to two days and would feature former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski as its hots, dropped on Wednesday.
"WrestleMania, for the first time ever, will be held as a two-night event streaming on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and available on pay-per-view. The two-night pop culture extravaganza will be hosted by three-time Super Bowl Champion Rob Gronkowski. Tune in to SmackDown this Friday at 8 pm ET on FOX to see what Gronk has in store for WrestleMania.
"As previously announced, only essential personnel will be on the closed set during the production of WrestleMania," the release continued.
Here's the card for WrestleMania 36 as of Thursday night:
- WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre
- WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns
- John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
- Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
- NXT Women's Championship Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
- AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker
- Edge vs. Randy Orton [Last Man Standing]
- Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
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