It’s really happening: WrestleMania airs this weekend! Although it was already taped, we somehow haven’t heard any spoilers expect about who was replaced on the card at the last minute. For a long time after the Covid-19 pandemic started to escalate, it seemed like there might not be a WrestleMania at all. Now it’s a two-night pre-recorded Mania with no fans present, but that’s not nothing. Whether getting so much talent together in one place in the middle of a serious pandemic is a good idea is certainly a subject for debate, but WWE seems to at least be trying to do what they can to protect people without calling off the show.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated, WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon explained all the safety precautions WWE is taking against coronavirus, at WrestleMania as well as all their current TV shows:
In terms of safety measures and protocols, first and foremost, every performance is voluntary for our performers and crew. That is a really important note to highlight. Also, the Performance Center itself is a closed set. We’re shooting in waves. No one person, regardless of who they are, is allowed to enter if they have a temperature of over 100.4, or if they have been out of the country or been in touch with someone who has been out of the country.
We also do pandemic-level cleaning, which includes fogging and ultraviolet light, in the facility every single night. That could be overkill, quite frankly, but we really are trying to put in the best safety practices that we possibly can given the circumstances. Those are some of the measures we are taking, and it is as comprehensive as it can possibly be. We also changed some of the format for WrestleMania. We’re not holding the men’s or women’s battle royal — that’s just too many people in the ring at one time.
As for Roman Reigns deciding to skip the show, she makes clear that not only is that his choice to make, it’s up to every WWE Superstar to decide for themselves:
With all of our superstars, it really is a voluntary basis. It’s not my place to give his personal situation, but we support our superstars. We support their personal opinions and concerns, and again, this is all voluntary. Especially when you have a talent or a performer with pre-existing conditions, or whatever the reason might be. If someone is uncomfortable, we will absolutely honor that. We want our talent to perform at WrestleMania, but only if they’re comfortable. Regardless of their reasons, they have to be comfortable. It has to be something they want to do. We absolutely support all of our superstars and their decision of whether or not to perform, especially at this time.
Stephanie also discussed the decision of whether or not to have WrestleMania at all, but her answers there came off a lot more corporate than these, in my opinion. Still, you can read the whole interview if you’re interested.