SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE has just announced tonight that “WrestleMania is too big for one night” and will be split into two nights on Saturday and Sunday. This should reduce the length of each show considerably, if WWE is disciplined about it, and it also separate the rosters into two groups with perhaps less social overlap and opportunities to spread the coronavirus. Given how close WWE announcers stood next to each other on Monday night, including the 70 year old Jerry Lawler, it’s not necessarily a top concern of WWE, though.
The press release reaffirms that WWE is planning to close the set at the Performance Center from all but essential personnel due to the coronavirus.
WWE could in theory split into a Smackdown-themed WrestleMania and Raw-themed WrestleMania, or mix it up. The up-side of keeping the rosters separate is that if WWE is consistent about keeping apart wrestlers from each brand, if one brand has one or more wrestlers who test positive for COVID-19, they could point to the fact that they’ve kept the rosters separate without opportunity to cross-contaminate as a justification to not entirely shut down all live matches. The same applies to NXT, NXT UK, and wrestlers under contract but not being utilized. If WWE’s priority is to keep putting on new live matches for as long as possible (and it could end up being out of their hands for a variety of reasons), keeping several rosters from every being in the same place at the same time is a strategy that could work.
WRESTLEMANIA TOO BIG FOR JUST ONE NIGHT
STAMFORD, Conn. – March 18, 2020 – WrestleMania, for the first time ever, will be held as a two-night event streaming on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5 at 7 p.m. ET on WWE Network and available on pay-per-view.
The two-night pop culture extravaganza will be hosted by three-time Super Bowl Champion Rob Gronkowski. Tune in to Smackdown this Friday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox to see what Gronk has in store for WrestleMania.
As previously announced, only essential personnel will be on the closed set during the production of WrestleMania.