Stephanie McMahon spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated about the polarizing feedback the company’s been receiving as they decided to move forward by recording WrestleMania 36 this weekend. VICE recently published an editorial sharing in the severity of the Coronavirus issue and how all pro wrestling activity should be put on hold. The Chief Branding Officer of WWE gives her reasons in the SI piece:
“We consider it a privilege and, in some regards, a responsibility to be able to provide this entertainment value for our fans,” said McMahon. “And again, this is all voluntary, and our superstars have said the same. Of course, we don’t want anyone to get the virus, whatsoever. This is an unprecedented time in our world, and we’re taking every possible precautionary measure that we can and doing everything we can to provide an entertainment experience for our fans.
“Our goal is to provide entertainment that will help you forget what you’re going through for a few hours. It’s a different experience. There aren’t fans in the audience. Some will be critical of the content because of that, but we’re doing the best that we can to provide that outlet for our fans during this time.”
Stephanie also discusses the measures the company has taken when putting on WrestleMania at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
“In terms of safety measures and protocols, first and foremost, every performance is voluntary for our performers and crew,” McMahon says. “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.”