By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor
This week, I’m going to be short and to the point. Things got real in the world with the spread of the coronavirus and unless common sense prevails and people get their heads out of their asses and stop believing this is no hoax, we are in trouble.
Everyone is anxious to see what happens with WrestleMania amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The financial aspects of shutting down an event this big can be catastrophic for all parties involved. Not just for the WWE but also for all the businesses around the Tampa area that have been prepping for the traffic that comes along with an event as big as WrestleMania.
We all must be real about this outbreak and what is going on. Wrestling is a form of entertainment a lot of us watch to get a break from the real world. The men and women that done their in-ring gear week in and week out and their health is not worth putting at risk due to out recent health scares.
Unfortunately, Tampa and the WWE dropped the ball Thursday. When they should have said, “All the other big venue events are cancelling because of this health scare, we are doing the same.” They took a wait and see approach. Some might call it playing it smart. I call it outrageous. Is it worth risking the health of 80 to 90 thousand people?
Some people argue that the WWE continued trucking when the 9/11 attack happened. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings here, but coronavirus is not the same as terrorist attacks. When the WWE went on after 9/11 it was a smaller venue than a football stadium. Metal detectors can be put at each entrance with police and staff and they can potentially snuff out anyone trying to do something bad.
The coronavirus does not have a target, it is not detectable, it is not bias to who it affects. Here in lies the difference. A virus attacks our immune system among other parts of our bodies. Everyone reacts different to the virus or cold that they get. In a lot of cases we have vaccines or medicine that can stop colds and virus’, we don’t have a known one for the coronavirus.
I ask: Is holding WrestleMania (and holding off being safe) a good move for a company with already sagging stocks?
People have brought up the fact that the WWE should do an empty arena show. That’s great, but that tells me the person suggesting an empty arena has never watched wrestling. Fans often can make or break a show with their live reactions. An empty arena match like Mankind vs Rock works for a short segment, but not a show that will probably last 5 more hours than it should.
The smartest thing right now would be to send the wrestlers home. Everyone from creative to talent can catch their breath and relax because this would be the first-time wrestlers got somewhat of an off season. It might also give people a need break that could allow for better storylines and feuds. The ratings say this might be the best of all ideas. Unfortunately for us and people that have followed wrestling know money talks for the WWE.
Regardless of the outcome of this should WrestleMania go on or should the WWE cancel it? The bottom line is this coronavirus has opened a lot of people’s eyes. We are not immune to an airborne virus that has attacked the entire world. We need to be smart and do more to prevent the spreading.
The WWE could have made a statement and said. We don’t want to risk our talent or fans well-being. Instead, we will wait and see what happens because they literally just dropped the damn ball when they could have been a leader like they were back when 9/11 happened.
Until next week, please be safe. Wash your hands, cover when you cough or sneeze and be good to each other.