To paraphrase one Paul Heyman, I won’t give my prediction, instead, here’s a spoiler: Nobody wins at WrestleMania 36.
I woke up this morning with notifications blowing up my phone. Roman Reigns off WrestleMania 36. In a time where the most important decision is the health of yourself and everyone around you. Here is this man who has given so much back to his fans and the company he works for, did what was best for himself. I think most of us feel the same way.
Regardless of the feelings about WrestleMania still airing, now for two nights, you get a sense of the awkwardness of the weekend that it’s becoming. Between matches being held without definitive locations, crowd, or long-term build, some say it’s the most unique. I say it’s the most uncomfortable.
The pandemic isn’t one to mess with. People are urged to stay home, and for good reason. By holding WrestleMania 36, even in a closed set, it enables others to not consider the pandemic as urgent. Yesterday, I found out that previous neighbors of mine, a semi-healthy couple, both passed within a week of each other. Both from complications from coronavirus. For a couple that rarely travels outside their home, it hit them without warning and little time to react. If it can happen to them, I couldn’t imagine it happening to a wrestler who travels every day, just to entertain us.
While wrestlers are expressing their displeasure of performing in current conditions, it is great to read that someone with such high status within the company is making the smart call. For a guy who gets crapped on every day by fans for his work inside the ring, he earns so much respect as a selfless human.
At this point, WWE will still air WrestleMania 36 because they taped the show before Florida put their stay at home order in effect. It’s going to be a show that just is. Fans will likely bury the product the next day or so. Talent will risk their lives in the most uncontrollable way. WWE will lose millions in merchandise and ticket sales. It almost seems like one is doing it for the other. The fans feel they need to watch to support the product, talent need to “entertain” the fans, WWE needs to keep talent paid. But the truth? We all need everyone to be safe and healthy. So that one day we can all come together and boo our heels and cheer our heroes.
That day will come; I hope sooner than later.