Vince McMahon Reportedly Wanted WrestleMania At Empty Stadium, Was Forced To Change

WWE WrestleMania 36 will air tonight (Saturday) and Sunday on the WWE Network, and the show will prove to be like no other WrestleMania in the past. Having mostly been taped at the WWE Performance Center last week, this will be the first non-live edition of the event in history, and it will also be the first one to have zero fans surrounding the ring due to the coronavirus pandemic. WrestleMania 36 was originally supposed to emanate from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, however the show had to be moved due to the pandemic.

Even so, Sports Illustrated reports that Vince McMahon was heavily considering continuing on with the show in the stadium format in Tampa, just without any fans. The report goes on to note that McMahon was forced to change the location to Orlando and his Performance Center due to forces outside of his control. SI notes that it would have been poor optics for the Florida state government to allow WrestleMania to continue during the pandemic, even without fans, in such a large venue. There also would have been optical problems with the performers surrounded by such a large venue without any fans.

We've seen that the WWE Performance Center without fans is already a challenging place to put on a show, and the belief is that the difficulty would have been magnified by a large, open air venue.


The Sports Illustrated report goes on to note that McMahon was just about the only person at WWE who wanted to continue on with the event in April. Most were reportedly in favor of postponing the event until a later time. However, with nobody having any idea when the sports world will be opened up again to fans, McMahon felt he needed to move forward and hold the show on his terms.

The card for WrestleMania 36 is as follows:

  • WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre
  • WWE Universal Championship: Goldberg vs. Braun Strowman
  • John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (Firefly Fun House Match)
  • The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles (Boneyard Match)
  • NXT Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
  • WWE RAW Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton (Last Man Standing)
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: TBD
  • WWE RAW Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits vs. Angel Garza and Austin Theory
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn vs. Daniel Bryan
  • WWE SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Lacey Evans vs. Sasha Banks vs. Naomi vs. Tamina Snuka
  • WWE Women's Tag Team Championships: The Kabuki Warriors vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
  • Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
  • Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • Elias vs. King Baron Corbin
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Aleister Black
  • Hosted by Rob Gronkowski

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