Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be, unfortunately, focusing on the coronavirus pandemic and how WWE is coping with COVID-19.
Reminder: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, practice social distancing if you must leave the house but avoid it whenever possible, and please help contribute to the positives in the world instead of the negatives as much as you can.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Liz Pugliesee, Andrew Balaz, Steven Mitchell, Ethan Absler, Brandon Ewing, John Scafide, Carol Cassada and Sarah Hirsch.
1) “Do you think WWE should have postponed WrestleMania, rather than hold it at the Performance Center?””
MANGO: I’m 50/50. There are so many negatives to the way WWE is doing this that I just can’t feel confident this is the right decision. However, I can see why WWE wouldn’t want to miss out on doing this show. They also show their tenacity by trucking along, can wrap up some storylines (even in a lackluster way) and the show will move on, though. It’s just tough because we don’t know when that will be. If we had a confirmation that things could go back to normal by May, I’d say to wait, but since WWE may not be able to do a show for months, it makes sense to do it now.
PUGLIESEE: Honestly, this is a tough one to answer. It is usually seen as their “reset” of sorts to wrap up story lines and begin new ones. On one hand, i’m glad they are trying to entertain us, but on the other, you worry about the risk they are taking exposing certain people during travel, etc.
BALAZ: The fact WrestleMania is the culmination of the biggest arcs they’ve been building towards; it’s not just a normal PPV. Postponing would’ve dragged out stories that people already complain about, or just thrown off the year and forced a weird truncation of re-drafts and whatever they do. So I think moving it is a necessary evil so they can continue their plan, more or less.
MITCHELL: I think it’s fine that WWE turned this crisis into a unique opportunity to try a two-day WrestleMania event at the PC. Postponing would have meant dragging this out for longer, which isn’t going to work with Empty Arena Raws, NXTs and SmackDowns. However, there is now the fear that certain mark-out worthy moments are NOT going to happen because Vince wants live crowds to mark out for them.
ABSLER: This is such a hard question to answer because the fans are arguably the most important aspect of live wrestling, however, scientists believe the Coronavirus will be getting worse before it gets better. It would not have been smart for WWE to postpone the show indefinitely because that would’ve been their only option, so they are really put into a tough position here. I think they made the right move having it take place as scheduled, but with a location change. You have to make the best out of the situation you’re given.
EWING: This is a tough call. I understand the WWE wants to keep their commitment. This is the biggest show of the year and they don’t want to cancel the show. However, as a fan, you would love to see WrestleMania in front of a live audience no matter the crowd capacity. The bottom line is I think the company should have held off on WrestleMania until a future date and time.
SCAFIDE: Absolutely. There isn’t even a questionable debate on whether WrestleMania should or shouldn’t have been postponed. In 5 years, WrestleMania 36 would just be another event in the list of extravaganzas hidden in the mix of PPV events on the WWE Network or ESPN+. No one would even bat an eye saying “Man, remember how bad WrestleMania was to postpone until June (or July). It would just be another event to watch. But now, because it’s being forced in April, during this horrible pandemic, for as long as history can be told, we will always relive a subpar WrestleMania under the worst of times. This will essentially become the worst WrestleMania of all time, just on principle alone.
CASSADA: I know right now there’s a “the show must go on” mentality with WWE, but with Wrestlemania I think this is an event that should’ve been postponed. Wrestlemania is their biggest PPV, one that the superstars and fans look forward to every year. Many stars will be having their big moment at the PPV and having fans there to witness it is what makes it more special.
HIRSCH: I really don’t know the right answer to this question. The Coronavirus Pandemic is something unlike anything we have seen. Maybe if WWE was able to hold the event at Raymond James at a later date then I could have seen the postponement. Maybe that wasn’t the case.