WWE Will Return To Live TV After Being Deemed 'Essential Service' Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
WWE has been deemed an 'essential service' by the state of Florida and returned to live TV last night - despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Vince McMahon's promotion had been pre-taping shows in their Orlando-based Performance Center over the last month - even taping their marquee WrestleMania pay-per-view.
But Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings revealed per Reuters that WWE would be allowed to return to live programming.
"I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business," Demings told reporters.
"With some conversation with the governor's office regarding the governor's order, they were deemed an essential business and so therefore they were allowed to remain open."
Fans on Twitter have reacted to the news and it's safe to say they're not impressed.
Listen... I'm a wrestling fan and miss the normalcy of it all... but WWE as an essential service?
Give me a fucking break.
- Rontastic (@GuyWithFatCat) April 13, 2020
Everyone's looking at this wrong, don't think of it as WWE being classified as an essential service, think of it as WWE superstars being classified as essential workers.
- Tom (@TomBlargh) April 13, 2020
WWE just got deemed an essential service.
Ladies and Gentlemen... I present to you, Florida.
- WanderingPhotographer (@IndyandMarion) April 14, 2020
They will remain in the Performance Center for these shows and will still take place with no live crowd, as seen on last night's Monday Night Raw.
"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," WWE told CNN.
"We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff."
Orange County Mayor Demmings just now on WWE maintaining live tapings:
"Originally, they were not deemed an essential business. With some conversation with the governor's office regarding the governor's order, they were deemed an essential business."
- Harry (@harryaaron) April 13, 2020
WWE confirmed last week that a member of on-screen talent had tested positive for coronavirus but managed to make a full recovery.
"In terms of the specifics associated with the wrestling personality who tested positive, I don't know any of the details of that obviously because of HIPAA laws," Mayor Demings explained.
"But, that's like a little family. A small family of professional athletes that wrestle. And if one of my family members tested positive in my house, that would be concerning to me.
"We would have to make some provisions in our house to make sure that the rest of us not get infected. So I would assume that, from a business perspective, the WWE is doing that type of analysis of its own family."
What do you think of WWE's decision to move back to live programming?
Sound off in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: WWE