Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, several changes have been announced for WrestleMania 36. For one thing, it will not be held in front of a live audience at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The event will be held at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and it’s going to be a two-night show now, with matches happening on April 4 and April 5.
While there has been no confirmation from WWE itself that the WrestleMania matches will be pre-taped, PWInsider is reporting that WrestleMania and a few other WWE shows leading up to it will be taped throughout the week. According to PWInsider, on March 21, WWE taped content for the last two SmackDown episodes leading to WrestleMania. These are the episodes that will air on March 27 and April 3.
Meanwhile, today is supposed to be the day that they tape some content for NXT, while Monday and Tuesday will be the date that they tape the RAW shows that will be aired on March 23 and 30.
WrestleMania’s taping schedule will be on March 25 and 26, with some content being filmed at the PC while others will be at closed sets in other locations.
The reason that WWE made the decision to tape WrestleMania and the shows leading it in advance is that they are worried that a live WrestleMania will be impossible because of the travel restrictions that have begun to be put in place.
As of the writing of this post, Canada has shut its borders. Many WWE superstars are from or reside in Canada, including current WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Lesnar versus Drew McIntyre is one of the biggest advertised matches for the WrestleMania 36 card.
On his podcast, Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler talked about the security measures that the WWE has placed on the performance center for the tapings. According to Lawler, he and others had to get their temperature taken before they were allowed in the building.
“They had everything closed down, there were security guards that met you there out in the parking lot,” said Lawler.
Lawler, who is 70, is considered part of the “at-risk” population for COVID-19. He said, however, that he wasn’t too worried about himself and, apparently neither was 74-year-old Vince McMahon who was present at the RAW taping.
“I was sort of surprised that Vince was there, but Vince was there,” said Lawler. “It was like a regular Monday Night Raw.
The precautions that Lawler talked about match with the reports of Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. According to Meltzer, there was a limited crew at RAW, including McMahon, Paul Heyman, some producers and support personnel.
Meltzer also reported that there is currently no training that is taking place at the PC. WWE has shut the door for training or even working out. They are only opening it for television shoots.