Thursday, March 19, 2020

WrestleMania To Be Taped?, Two Matches From WrestleMania 36 Card Nixed

WrestleMania To Be Taped?, Two Matches From WrestleMania 36 Card Nixed
There's been a lot of speculation on WWE possibly changing the WrestleMania 36 card.

At one point WWE had 16 matches planned, but we're not sure if that is still the plan as many matches are considered "up in the air". Pro Wrestling Sheet reports WWE confirmed to them that the 7th Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and the 3rd Annual WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal will not take place this year as a way to help limit the number of Superstars gathering in the ring. This is another change made due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two battle royals have been pulled from the WrestleMania 36 card as another way to abide by guidelines and recommendations from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and other local governments as much as possible while producing the big event. This is one of the many precautionary measures that WWE officials are taking during WrestleMania 36 to help "flatten the curve" amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

As noted before at this link, WWE issued a statement to Sports Illustrated confirming that all talent and staff entering their closed sets are required to participate in medical testing. There's still no word yet on where these other locations will be, but it was reported earlier today that most of the WrestleMania 36 content will shoot from the Performance Center, while some "gimmick matches" will take place elsewhere.

On a related note, WWE officials are currently planning an "ambitious" taping schedule that will get them through WrestleMania 36, according to POST Wrestling. The plan as of today is to tape the remaining episodes of RAW and SmackDown leading up to WrestleMania 36. There's no word yet on when these tapings will take place. WWE will reportedly go ahead with this week's SmackDown on FOX, featuring WrestleMania host Rob Gronkowski and the contract signing for Roman Reigns vs. WWE Universal Champion Bill Goldberg, but would then tape the March 23 and March 30 episodes of RAW, plus the March 27 and April 3 editions of SmackDown

One source indicated to POST that they also expect WWE to tape both nights of WrestleMania 36 over the next week as well, meaning The Grandest Stage of Them All will not air live on April 4 and April 5. Another source was unsure if that will happen. If WWE does tape both nights of WrestleMania 36, then the upcoming tapings schedule would include two episodes of RAW, two episodes of SmackDown, and two nights of WrestleMania. There's no word yet on how the WWE NXT TV shows will factor into this.

Regarding the WrestleMania 36 card, a source indicated to POST that the only changes to the planned card is the elimination of the two battle royals, as noted above. The other planned matches are set to take place over the two night, with some matches that have not been announced on TV yet.