The WWE will be making its return to television after the governor of Florida’s office determined that it was, in fact, an essential service. That means the pre-recorded programming that they’ve been forced to air over the past few weeks, as well as WrestleMania 36, due to the coronavirus pandemic will be coming to an end with Monday Night Raw set to relaunch next week. Raw and SmackDown will be aired live from the Orlando, FL training facility.
Though WWE confirmed the news on Saturday, despite the statewide stay-at-home order, the mayor of Orange County, FL revealed that the governor of Florida’s office had switched their initial position.
“I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business,” Mayor Jerry Demings said during a press conference. “With some conversation with the Governor’s office regarding the Governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business. And so, therefore, they were allowed to remain open.”
Demings did not detail any of the specific information surrounding this position. However, he did comment on the confirmed case of coronavirus among the WWE staff. “That’s like a little family. A small family of professional athletes that wrestle. And, if one of my family members tested positive in my house, that would be concerning to me,” he said. “We would have to make some provisions in our house to make sure that the rest of us not get infected. So, I would assume that, from a business perspective, the WWE is doing that type of analysis of its own family.”
The WWE issued a statement over the weekend about their decision to return to a live format in the midst of the pandemic. They revealed that it’ll only allow essential personnel at the venue during these times.
“We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” the statement said. “We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance.”