Update 3/16/2020, 7:08PM EST: “In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place. However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania.” – WWE Corporate Statement
There has been a lot to digest over the last few weeks. I think we can all agree that it has been an uneasy time for everyone all over the world. The novel coronavirus has completely changed how people, businesses, societies all interact and transact with each other. Surprisingly, local and world leaders are making real efforts to take this pandemic seriously.
I want to point out one important message before I continue with this editorial:
Everyone has the opportunity to make the best out of this situation. The majority of local officials around the United States and other parts of the world are instituting restrictions on even the smallest of gatherings. Now, more than ever, it is urgent that we take everything we do seriously and with caution. But to all that is happening around our world, it is important to take care of ourselves and assist others who may need it the most.
I watched Friday Night SmackDown on Fox and I took Triple H’s message to open the show really seriously. For a lot of us, we are social humans, we enjoy the social interactions with others. We feed off of the energy that each of us exerts. Through the good and the bad, our highs and lows, we have one outlet, among others, that bring us closer as a community and help pass us through the realities of the world. That is entertainment.
And Triple H, while it was just a statement in passing, was powerful, in that as hard as we all try to help our world and see everything that is going on, we can always turn to entertainment to provide us with a social calm.
None of us really know what is going on with WrestleMania. We can assume, whatever is going to happen, is meant for the good of the people in some way. See, you can’t (in my opinion) just say Vince’s actions (or lack thereof) thus far is either bad or good. There is so much to the story, something no one wishes to go through, yet we are here. We have to make some tough decisions.
But what if … what if this wasn’t the year we are entertained by the show of shows, WrestleMania?
It’s hard to fathom, for most of us reading this, that we’d ever see this very possible situation play out. The moment where wrestling fans wouldn’t come together for that one weekend to experience a once a year spectacle. To some, it’s once a lifetime.
And that one weekend, where the world truly comes together, isn’t just there for one wrestler, match, moment, not even one show or company. No, WrestleMania weekend has been the cornerstone and backbone of a much bigger gathering.
We say WrestleMania weekend, but we really mean wrestling conventions, ROH, AEW, Impact, NWA, and other major indie shows. We mean the once a year meetups with international friends, and bonding over our favorite pastime. The one time where most of the world comes together to see their favorite wrestler from all over the wrestling industry, without having to travel outside one geographical area. It’s the opportunity to form relationships with promoters, business owners, and even the smallest freelance specialists around the world who participate and give back, from a single bond – our love for professional wrestling.
It’s not easy to see the day that everything everyone in the wrestling business has worked so hard for, get lost so quickly. That is why it’s so hard for so many of those who work, who live for this business, now have to just turn away.
We say WrestleMania, but we mean wrestling. For most of us, wrestling is all we got. Wrestling is our step away from reality. It’s a way to suspend the world around us and enjoy what we are meant to be – social humans.
“… sit back, relax, and let the world melt away as the WWE does what it does best: put a smile on your face.”
So, whatever decision it is for April 5th weekend, wrestling will not be the same. If there is a show on April 5th but without a crowd, that’s fine by me. If there is no show and it’s moved to June, or during the summer, then so it is. But one thing is for certain, everyone will be affected by the decision. And that is partially why it’s just one damn difficult decision to make if you are Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment.
Written by John Scafide, exclusively for eWrestlingNews.com.