While most TV and live sports productions in America have temporarily shut down because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, two wrestling companies will continue to film. AEW stopped production a few days ago, but both WWE and Impact Wrestling will reportedly tape more TV this week.
According to reports by PW Insider and Fightful Select, WWE plans on taping the episodes of Raw, Smackdown, and NXT leading up to the May 10 Money In The Bank pay-per-view this week. Fightful says the filming will begin on April 10 and go through April 16, which PW Insider has it beginning on the eighth or the ninth. Like the pre-taped shows leading up to WrestleMania, these episodes of WWE TV will take place in the Performance Center with a closed set and no fans in attendance. WWE is reportedly changing the ropes, turnbuckles, ring canvas, etc., between every match to try and prevent the talent from contracting COVID-19.
PW Insider also reports that Impact Wrestling will tape between six and eight weeks worth of TV this week in Nashville, Tennessee. The tapings may include Impact’s next PPV, Rebellion, which was originally scheduled for April 19 in New York.
Both WWE and Impact will be taping in states that have stay-at-home orders, where non-essential businesses are closed. Pro wrestling (or contact sports, theatrical productions, TV tapings, or however else one could describe the artform) isn’t on Florida’s or Tennessee’s lists of essential activities, but it’s possible the companies could have gotten special exemptions.
No matter what permits the promotions get or safety precautions they take, wrestlers could still spread COVID-19, which can be passed on by people who are not yet displaying symptoms, amongst each other through the act of having professional wrestling matches.