Backstage Update on WWE Taping RAW, SmackDown and WrestleMania

Backstage Update on WWE Taping RAW, SmackDown and WrestleMania

There continues to be speculation on WWE possibly airing the WrestleMania 36 matches live or taped on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5.

There has been an internal memo going around WWE HQ in Stamford about how to promote WrestleMania 36 on the WWE Network, according to POST Wrestling. It’s being said to avoid tag lines such as “live on WWE Network” and/or “streaming live,” and to instead promote the event as “Too Big for One Night.”

The language used in this memo is not confirmation that WrestleMania 36 will be taped, but it’s worth noting that they are wanting to leave the word “live” out of promotional material. Furthermore, there is a WWE website preview for The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles that was changed from “streaming live” to just “streaming” to promote the WrestleMania broadcast.

As noted on Thursday, WWE officials have been planning an “ambitious” taping schedule that would get them through WrestleMania 36, which was also first reported by POST. The plan as of Thursday was to tape the March 23 and March 30 RAW episodes, the March 27 and April 3 SmackDown episodes, but there’s no word yet on exactly when those tapings would be held. It was also reported that some in WWE expect WWE to tape both nights of WrestleMania 36 over the next week as well. That was not confirmed and another source was unsure if it will happen.

In an update on the tapings report from Thursday, POST now reports that it’s believed WWE will tape additional SmackDown content on Saturday, then the RAW episodes on Monday and Tuesday. adds that the plan was to tape the March 27 and April 3 SmackDown episodes over the next two days at the WWE Performance Center. There would then be Monday’s RAW from the Performance Center, and the March 30 RAW would be taped on Tuesday, also at the Performance Center. It’s also possible that WWE re-airs older footage to fill time on the upcoming TV shows to reduce the amount of in-ring matches, and to keep physicality between the talents to a minimum. WWE recently aired the Women’s Elimination Chamber match and the Men’s Royal Rumble match on SmackDown and RAW from the Performance Center, to help fill the shows up.

Regarding both nights of WrestleMania, adds that the show will likely be taped but the decision is being kept a secret. Very few people in the company are being kept in the loop regarding the live vs. taped decision for WrestleMania 36. It was noted that the wrestlers know no more than anyone else does.

There’s still no word yet on what will replace the NXT “Takeover: Tampa Bay” event that was nixed when WWE cancelled the original WrestleMania 36 Week plans due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, there was hope of doing a standard NXT TV episode this coming Wednesday instead of the format they used this past Wednesday, which featured the studio shots of Triple H and Tom Phillips along with the interview segments. However, nothing is set in stone for Wednesday’s NXT episode on the USA Network.

WrestleMania 36 is currently scheduled to air on Saturday, April 4 and Sunday, April 5 at 7pm ET on both nights. The show will air from the WWE Performance Center and other multiple locations, but there’s no word yet on where those locations will be. Despite the location, there will be no fans in attendance. Former NFL player Rob Gronkowski will be the host for both nights. WrestleMania was originally scheduled to air on April 5 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, but the COVID-19 outbreak forced all WrestleMania 36 Week events to be nixed, including NXT Takeover and the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. As noted earlier this week at this link, the Hall of Fame ceremony may be held during SummerSlam weekend in Boston this August.

You can click here to read the latest backstage report on the WrestleMania 36 card and possible title matches. Stay tuned for further updates on the big event.


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