WWE's decision to move forward with WrestleMania 36 has been met with some backlash by fans who believe WWE, as every other sport has done, should shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
But as Stephanie McMahon explained to Sports Illustrated, WWE is going to great lengths to ensure the safety of its performers.
“This is not something where we’re just being bullheaded and moving forward. This is a concerted, very thought-through effort to entertain our fans with our biggest show of the year. It won’t feel and look like our biggest show of the year, but certainly from a content standpoint and a match standpoint, we’re trying to deliver," she said. “In terms of safety measures and protocols, first and foremost, every performance is voluntary for our performers and crew. 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.”
The WrestleMania 36 card took a hit last Thursday when it was reported that Roman Reigns pulled out of his scheduled match with Goldberg, putting his health first.
McMahon weighed in on Roman's decision, saying, “With all of our superstars, it really is a voluntary basis. It’s not my place to give his personal situation, but we support our superstars. We support their personal opinions and concerns, and again, this is all voluntary. Especially when you have a talent or a performer with pre-existing conditions, or whatever the reason might be. If someone is uncomfortable, we will absolutely honor that. We want our talent to perform at WrestleMania, but only if they’re comfortable. Regardless of their reasons, they have to be comfortable. It has to be something they want to do. We absolutely support all of our superstars and their decision of whether or not to perform, especially at this time.”
WWE is still advertising Reigns as competing on WrestleMania 36. As explained by Triple H in a different interview, Reigns' absence from the card will be explained in a unique way. You can find Triple H's full comments by clicking here.