Florida Officials Issue “Stay At Home” Mandate, WWE Included
It appears WWE will wrap their taping schedule just in time before the state of Florida and Orange County would have shut them down regardless. In other words, it’s a good idea WWE and Vince McMahon decided to tape everything they could before Thursday if they weren’t going to postpone WrestleMania, because Florida is shutting down an non-essential services.
WWE is taping Raw, SmackDown and WrestleMania out of the WWE Performance Center this week, with tapings scheduled to wrap Thursday. In what is either excellent timing or with information in hand that WWE knew they were only going to get until Thursday, the Orlando, Florida area just issued a two-week “stay at home” mandate.
The mandate will go into effect in Orange County, which includes Orlando and Winter Park, Florida, where the WWE Performance Center and Full Sail University are located.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, and Sheriff John Mina announced today that this mandate will begin on Thursday at 11pm ET. They explained that only essential services would stay open and people were only to go out to fill essential needs. WrestleMania certainly does not qualify.
This doesn’t exactly mean WWE can’t shoot anything else. They’d just have to find other locations, such as their WWE Headquarters or another studio. Still, getting as much done before Thursday night’s deadline gives them the best odds of collecting all the critical footage they need to air their weekly shows and hold their two-night pay-per-view on April 4th and 5th.
What this means for the Raw and SmackDown shows following Monday’s post-WrestleMania show (which was speculated to have also been taped this week) is unclear. WWE will either need to find another location to shoot or air only video clips, documentaries or other footage they’ve already captured. Perhaps they’ll do some at home stuff with wrestlers, like many other shows are now doing during the COVID-19 crisis.