WWE's annual SummerSlam pay-per-view was originally supposed to take place at the TD Garden Arena in Boston on Aug. 23. Unfortunately due to the ongoing pandemic, those plans have officially been changed. WWE released a statement on Thursday which read, "In coordination with our local partners, government officials and TD Garden, WWE's SummerSlam and related events will no longer take place in Boston. Refunds are available at the original point of purchase. We are grateful to the city of Boston for their longstanding partnership and look forward to holding WWE events at TD Garden in the future.
The statement continued — "SummerSlam will stream live on Sunday, August 23 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and information regarding a new location for the event is forthcoming."
The fact that WWE did not state the show would take place at the Performance Center in Orlando like WrestleMania 36, Money in the Bank, Backlash and The Horror Show at Extreme Rules is noteworthy. It was reported back in June that WWE had booked an 8,000-seat venue in Lakeland, Florida for late July in an attempt to finally run episodes of television with fans in the crowd. Unfortunately, those plans were scrapped as the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continued to climb.
WWE has also confirmed that NXT TakeOver: Boston will not take place on Aug. 22 as originally scheduled. The show has been renamed NXT TakeOver XXX and will be held inside Full Sail Live.
The company has been running every episode of Raw and SmackDown from the Performance Center since mid-March, and the threat of COVID-19 has convinced some wrestlers to step away from wrestling at the tapings. The biggest star to make that choice was Roman Reigns, who explained his decision in a recent interview with The Hindu.
"The company (WWE) has done everything that they can to make it the safest work environment possible. It is not the workplace that I was necessarily concerned about," Reigns explained. "The decision was taken mainly because each performer travels so much, and we are all such a diverse group and from all over the place. I'm not convinced, and I can't trust the fact that everybody is taking it as seriously and locking themselves down at home like I am. I trust my life with my co-workers every time I step foot in the ring, but I just can't put the same trust when it has my children, my wife and my family involved.
"But I don't want it to come off as I am taking a stand against the company at all, because I love the WWE. I've been a part of this company just since I was a little boy," he added. "That's why I always take it so personally when I represent them."