As a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the world of professional wrestling be altered since 2020. WWE was one of the companies that was able to make on the fly adjustments to continue creating content. At the beginning of the pandemic, they used their Performance Center to host their shows. Later on, they would eventually move to the ThunderDome. The ThunderDome featured digital screens to display virtual fans in a redesigned arena. The company began to take their shows on the road once again earlier this summer. However, as the pandemic has shown no signs of slowing down right now, it is possible they may be forced to return.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio reported that the company might have to go back to the ThunderDome due to possible COVID-19 mandates. WWE and AEW have been adamant in their belief that no mandates will come into effect. Both companies are able to find homes again if that situation does occur. AEW could return to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida and the WWE could easily rebuild their ThunderDome set in another theater.
“I think they’re both going to be pretty confident that Florida will not issue any mandates under any circumstance. Obviously, AEW can go back to Jacksonville and WWE can go back to someplace in Florida. You can always do the Performance Center. The problem is that if you put RAW and SmackDown in front of 300 people again those numbers will crater. So, it’s a bad situation and AEW’s numbers will hurt too,” Dave reported.
Dave went on to add, “I don’t know if they’re crater as well. They did okay numbers in Jacksonville. Obviously, if there’s no other choice, then yeah we can go through that again. The ThunderDome thing, I mean they did better in the ThunderDome than the Performance Center, so I think that in that sense WWE could look at a ThunderDome again and try to take residency in a building, but it’s hard because, I guess you could do the baseball stadium, because baseball isn’t starting for months, so I guess they’ll go to the Tampa baseball stadium and set up.”(h/t to Ringside News for the transcription)
Both companies suffered as a result of the pandemic and its effects on the business. We have only had live crowds again for a few weeks, so it would not be great for business to be forced to return to no/small crowds.
Follow Jaychele Nicole on Twitter @jaychelenicole.