As the coronavirus whips across the United States and infects a smattering of people in its path, one by one, different public events are being cancelled. The idea is to stop or at least slow down the spread of the highly contagious virus, and now, WWE wrestling events could be the next ones that the coronavirus lays claim to.
Each week, Monday night RAW, Wednesday night NXT, and Friday night SmackDown are the staples of the WWE. These events are always recorded live in arenas with thousands of fans in the audience watching and cheering on their favorite wrestlers. Naturally, these large but close gatherings of people could be cause for concern in regards to the coronavirus. And now, fans are worried that the virus could mean the WWE cancels dozens of its upcoming events.
WWE's SmackDown has plans in place in case of a cancellation.
Right now, there are no plans in sight to cancel SmackDown on March 13. However, PWInsider did report that the event could be moved from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit to WWE's Performance Center. The Performance Center is in Florida, where there have also been reported outbreaks of the coronavirus, so it's unclear what benefit the rumored move would serve. WWE did provide a statement to CNET, however, to explain that the company is taking the virus seriously.
"WWE has not cancelled Friday night SmackDown in Detroit," the statement says. "However, based on the current situation, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that upcoming WWE shows are cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues."
So as long as there isn't an official word from the local or federal government to cancel SmackDown, the show will go on.
Wrestlemania could still be cancelled.
Even though it doesn't look like SmackDown will be cancelled just yet, it’s still possible that things could change at the last minute. Likewise, the live pay-per-view WrestleMania event in April could also be cancelled because of the coronavirus. Or, at the very least, postponed. As of March 11, however, the plan was still for WrestleMania to go on as scheduled. The official Twitter page for the city of Tampa, Fla. tweeted that the event was still scheduled to go on, despite the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, that’s not a steadfast guarantee, especially since the virus has continued to spread and infect more people daily. The WWE insider Twitter account WrestleVotes tweeted that they predicted the event would be rescheduled. In the event that the coronavirus slows down, dies out, or is at least contained by the time April comes, there will be a more concrete "yes" about WrestleMania. Until then, it would probably be best to take things day by day.
The coronavirus has already stopped other sporting events.
The good news is that, for now, the WWE hasn't formally cancelled any of its weekly events or pay-per-views. That doesn't mean it won't happen, however. The NBA recently suspended the season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus. And the PGA golf tour announced that it would continue, but without an audience present.
At this point, it wouldn't be totally out of left field for the WWE to cancel some of its more popular events, if only to limit the number of people who might be in close contact with one another in the audiences. But for now, there still hasn't been an official word on cancelling any of the upcoming WWE events.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.