Florida Governor Orders Statewide Lockdown, Putting WWE And AEW Programming In Jeopardy

Well, it was only a matter of time: Earlier today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home lockdown order for the entire Sunshine State, whch will go into effect at midnight tonight. The order, which will last for the next 30 days, limits Floridians’ movements to “only those necessary and essential activities.”

Clearly, pro wrestling is neither necessary nor essential to the survival of mankind, which means both WWE and AEW, who have been broadcasting out of Orlando and Jacksonville, respectively, will likely be scrambling to create TV content for the month of April.

WWE, to their credit, has already pre-taped their normal programming at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando (as well as various closed-set locations) through at least next Wednesday, meaning tonight’s episode of NXT, Smackdown this Friday, WrestleMania this weekend, next Monday’s Raw and next Wednesday’s NXT are all in the can. Beyond that, it is unclear what WWE has filmed.

Alternately, AEW had been broadcasting live from an empty Daily’s Place in Jacksonville since the COVID-19 outbreak, though according to Dave Meltzer, they moved production to an undisclosed location for filming Dynamite and Dark both yesterday and today. It is unclear if this location is in Florida or not, though Meltzer reports it’s in the “southeast.” The area surrounding Daily’s Place is being turned into a coronavirus testing location, which means the odds of returning to the building in the near future are extremely low.

Buckle up, everybody. Pro wrestling is about to get a whole lot weirder in April.