WWE announced on Monday that WrestleMania 36 will air on April 5 from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, with no crowd. The show was pulled from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay due to the coronavirus pandemic. All related WrestleMania 36 Week events were also cancelled.
While there may have been a few options on the table regarding WrestleMania 36, it came down to the final call made by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. It was reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that Vince rushed the WrestleMania change of announcing it for the Performance Center because he just wanted to get everything out of the way because it’s uncertain when things will really get better. No one knows when things will be back to normal, and it’s possible that they aren’t running shows for several months.
It was also speculated on Wrestling Observer Radio that WrestleMania may be nixed from the April 5 date altogether. If anyone on the WWE roster were to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, or if the outbreak in Florida were to get worse, then it’s possible that WrestleMania is pulled and re-organized for a later date.
There’s another new rumor from Twitter source @fightoracle, who has broken several scoops over the past few years, on WrestleMania possibly being pulled from the WWE Performance Center as well. The rumor notes that WWE’s insurance policy says they have a duty to mitigate damages, which in this case would be finding a new venue for the big event. While WWE announced the Performance Center as the new venue, with intent to satisfy that requirement, there’s a feeling that the city of Orlando may shut down the WrestleMania Performance Center event. WWE would likely get paid by their insurer at that point as they will have shown that they tried their best to move the event.
The new report from @fightoracle also notes that WWE will actually look to hold WrestleMania 36 on Sunday, June 7, possibly from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Everything is still fluid at this point, and a summer date for WrestleMania would depend on how the COVID-19 outbreak is contained, and how local restrictions improve, among other factors. The report went on to say that it just doesn’t make sense to run WrestleMania from the Performance Center, and that the PC announcement could just be part of the insurance claim process.
The new report should be taken as a rumor for now. WWE currently has WrestleMania 36 scheduled for the Performance Center on April 5, airing on the WWE Network and pay-per-view at 7pm ET. WWE has not confirmed the Kickoff pre-show, but it was scheduled for 5pm ET at one point.
On a related note, there’s no word yet on if the full WrestleMania 36 card will be put on at the Performance Center, if they go that route. WWE reportedly had 16 matches planned for WrestleMania at one point. It was noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE officials feel the empty arena matches aren’t working, based on the matches we saw during Friday’s SmackDown on FOX. This is likely why there wasn’t that much in-ring action on last night’s RAW from the Performance Center.