Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/03/12/post-news-update-coronavirus-effect-on-pro-wrestling/
If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.
** CBS Tampa reporter Ryan Bass was present for the meeting that was held with Tampa officials and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. Per Bass, Castor stated that they don’t have to take immediate action for “events that are weeks down the road” and WrestleMania 36 is still scheduled for April 5th. City Of Tampa is waiting another week before making a decision about WrestleMania. WWE issued the following statement to CBS Sports about the status of WrestleMania 36:
“While we remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that it is cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues,” the company said in a statement. “The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay.”
** California has instituted a decree that all mass gatherings of 250 people or more should be postponed or cancelled. Wink News has footage up of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addressing the Coronavirus outbreak and he recommends that all mass gatherings be postponed or cancelled until the velocity of the virus decreases. DeSantis said he does not have the power to force any major sporting events of the sort to cancel but highly recommends that they do.
** WWE officially confirmed that tomorrow’s SmackDown will emanate from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando with only essential personnel in attendance. SmackDown was originally scheduled to take place in Detroit. The following statement was issued to POST Wrestling:
“Friday Night SmackDown on March 13 will air live as regularly scheduled and emanate from WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida with only essential personnel in attendance. The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan.”
** Booker T took to Twitter and announced that Reality Of Wrestling’s ‘No Limits’ show that was scheduled for March 14th has been postponed due to the Coronavirus. The event is being rescheduled for April 11th and if tickets were purchased for the March 14th show, those tickets can be used to get into the April 11th event. Reality of Wrestling’s ‘Stars Of Tomorrow’ show on March 28th is still scheduled to continue as planned, barring any changes. DEFY Wrestling was also forced to cancel their March 29th show.
** The Prudential Center where AEW: Dynamite is scheduled to take place on March 25th has postponed all events through the month of March. AEW’s show was supposed to feature the Blood & Guts match between The Inner Circle and The Elite.
** The Coronavirus outbreak has caused STARDOM to cancel more of their shows. The promotion announced that their March 29th event in Nagoya is cancelled.
** Jon Moxley donated $1000 to the OTT fund, as news of OTT cancelling ScrapperMania because of the Coronavirus made the rounds.
** wXw announced that their ’16 Carat Revenge’ show has been cancelled. Here’s the statement that the promotion put out:
“Due to the US government issuing a 30 day ban for Schengen residents us and our wrestlers will be unable to enter the USA. The event scheduled for April 4th in Tampa is cancelled. Please contact eTix for a full refund.”
** According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Tony Khan informed all within AEW that there is no pressure to appear and/or wrestle on next week’s Dynamite. Khan stated that if one chooses not to show up, they will not be punished, looked down upon or lose their spot and/or push.
** Mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor joined 102.5 The Bone and the first question she was asked was about the status of WrestleMania 36 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. She reiterated that there will be a meeting on Thursday to discuss future plans and listed off some of the individuals who (now were) at that meeting.
“Well, I can’t tell you anything. We are still assessing. We hope that we can have WrestleMania, but we are in the process of assessing that now. We have our Executive Policy Group, which is made up of a County Administrator, the chair of county commission, the Mayor of Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and a few others and we will be having a meeting tomorrow around noon where we’re gonna make decisions on the larger scale events that are planned for Tampa.”
** PCW ULTRA is postponing their March 27th show until June 12th, via recommendations by the California Department of Health.
** WrestleCon noted on Twitter that they’ll be making an announcement concerning WrestleCon soon during WrestleMania 36 weekend.
** With the Coronavirus outbreak at the forefront of the news, Ring of Honor issued a statement which reads that they’ll be continuing their scheduled events as planned. It’s noted in the press release that they’ll be monitoring the situation closely and looking out for updates from the government.
** Maryland Championship Wrestling decided to postpone their March 14th, March 15th, March 22nd and April 17th shows. Tickets that were purchased for the listed shows will be honored at the rescheduled events. If ticket-holders are unable to attend the rescheduled shows, refund options will be available.
** PWInsider published a report about how WWE is maneuvering around the Coronavirus in their office in Stamford, Connecticut. As of this week, WWE has a rotation in place where certain departments are working from home so that WWE can have a plan in place if they need to make the decision to have their employees work outside of their Stamford headquarters.
** ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced on Facebook that all ONE Championship events will be held without fans in attendance until the end of May.
** Lana uploaded the following video to her YouTube channel as she is set to be a part of a Bruce Willis film titled ‘Cosmic Sin’:
** At GCW For The Culture on April 3rd, Chris Bey, Myron Reed, Jason Cade, Jody Fleisch, Zenshi and Christian Casanova will compete in a six-pack match.
** Prior to AEW Dynamite going live from West Valley City, Utah, Jack Evans and Angelico defeated Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa. After Dynamite went off the air, Penelope Ford picked up a win over Riho, and Colt Cabana defeated Peter Avalon. Christopher Daniels and Stu Grayson had a singles match and following that match, both of their respective groups hit the ring and clashed.
** Disco Inferno is debuting for AAW on May 9th. AAW also issued a statement about the Coronavirus and noted that they’ll be very precautionary at their next event on March 20th.
** Connor Braxton, 1 Called Manders, Travis Titan and Joeasa are participating in the WWE Performance Center tryouts this weekend. All four men are graduates of the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.
** Sportskeeda posted their interview with Lita and Christy Hemme.
** This weekend’s EVOLVE 147 show in Michigan and EVOLVE 148 in Illinois have been postponed to May 8th and May 9th in Michigan and Illinois respectively. Tickets purchased for this weekend’s shows can be used for the May shows.
** Major League Wrestling talent and officials are in Tijuana, Mexico for the MLW vs. AAA event on March 13th. Per PWInsider, talent have been told that if they do not want to perform, they don’t have to. The event is still going on as scheduled. MLW advised their office staff in New York to take this past Monday off. Also, the site is reporting that MLW is in full support of Tom Lawlor’s move to the PFL. They do not think it’ll affect their booking plans but if he does need to step away from pro wrestling, they think it’ll help his longevity in MLW. MLW was planning on announcing talent autograph sessions for WrestleMania week in Tampa but those plans have been cancelled. Also, several MLW talents who were heading to Japan for international events have had their plans cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
** On next week’s NXT, there will be a celebration for Adam Cole as he’ll officially be the longest reigning NXT Champion of all-time.
** Bar Wrestling ‘MAMBA’ Results (3/11/20) Los Angeles, California
– RockNES Monsters (Yuma & BHK) def. Che Cabrera & Tito Escondido
– Joey Ryan def. Ray Rosas
– B-Boy & Adrian Quest def. Jamie Senegal & Alex Ocean
– Taya Valkyrie def. Andy Brown
– Los Luchas (Zokre & Phoenix Star) & Miranda Alize def. Douglas James & DoomFly (Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom)
– Willie Mack def. Chris Bey
** Drew McIntyre and Sheamus were scheduled to do media for an event hosted by BT Sport but both men were flown back into the United States.
** Before the March 11th episode of NXT went live on the USA Network, Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter teamed up and defeated Santana Garrett and Aliyah. Also, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Austin Theory.
** Cedric Alexander jokingly reacted to being referenced during Britt Baker and Big Swole’s segment on AEW Dynamite.
** On their official website, New Japan Pro-Wrestling posted updated refund procedures for their cancelled events.
** All Pro Wrestling decided to postpone their March 14th show in Daly City, California.
** Former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho posted on Instagram that Luther, who is a part of All Elite Wrestling has officially signed with the company. Jericho added that Luther has impressed a lot of people over the past several months and has earned a spot on the AEW talent roster and in the AEW offices as well.
** Asuka uploaded a new video to her ‘KanaChanTV’ YouTube channel.
** Tuesday’s episode of WWE Backstage on FS1 featuring AJ Styles drew in 35,000 per Showbuzz Daily. This episode was down from last week’s show which brought in 58,000 viewers.
** Justin Credible, Shane Douglas and The Sandman are presenting a live tour entitled ‘Whole F’N Truth’. The tour kicks off on April 18th in New Britain, Connecticut and more dates, locations and ticket information can be found on their official website.
** SunSport released their interview with Bianca Belair. Belair spoke about her performance in the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble match and she stated that she was not nervous and was ready for her moment on that show.
“That was one of the most relaxed times I’ve ever felt in the ring. The most nerve-wracking part was getting to the arena and getting make-up. The build-up to it I was nervous. Then once my music hit I was in my element. I feel like I’ve been proving myself over and over, and I see this person get this opportunity, that person get that opportunity, and I wanted to focus on myself. I finally felt like I was getting the spotlight that I deserve and it was my time to shine. There was nothing else to think about in that moment but to go out there and let my body take over. It felt like I was in there an eternity, which was 33 minutes, but I enjoyed every single moment and soaked it all in. Norman Smiley always told me, ‘Don’t let a situation play you, you play the situation’ and that was the one thing that was going through my head. I just enjoyed every single moment and knew that it’s what I’d been asking for. I prepared, and fun.”
Bianca Belair was in attendance for Monday Night RAW in Brooklyn, New York when Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins won the RAW Tag Team Championships from Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy. She spoke about she and Montez’s journey together and how special it was for her to see her significant other have that moment.
“I was actually backstage so I was there to watch. These moments are always great moments, but they are even better when we can share them together. We’ve been in this journey together since the day we joined NXT. I was there when he won the title in NXT, there at RAW. He’s my biggest supporter and I’m his. We always support each other. We know how hard this journey can be so we are always there together for these moments and I’m so happy it worked out that I was there when it happened. We are still celebrating right now and I feel like, because I’ve been on the journey with him, I’m part of this too. We always celebrate together, and I don’t know, but if I can get gold around my waist then I feel like we are going to be celebrating for life. I know I’m going to get it. Bianca Belair does not give up. We are celebrating his success right now but I know soon we will be celebrating mine.”
** The newest edition of WWE’s After The Bell podcast included the revelation that “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith is going into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year. Tyson Kidd, Natalya and Davey Boy Smith Jr. joined the show and while they talked about Davey Boy’s induction, they dove into their own careers as well. Tyson Kidd talked about his transition from wrestler to producer in WWE and he stated that since he’s become a producer, he has become more emotional and elaborated on that note.
“I didn’t realize how fulfilling it actually could be. I didn’t realize that like — I was told by the boss that, he said, ‘Now you’ll kind of be like me. We’ll vicariously live through the talent’, and I thought those were just some words and I’ve now come to realize that it’s very real. The fulfillment and the feeling is very, very real. When we lay something out and then the talent go out there — and I’ve been a part of the creative process with the talent of helping put things together and maybe putting things in different places. When they go out there and execute it even better than the way I have it imagined in my head, it’s such a great feeling where I don’t know if it’s since my injury or it’s my age or a combination of the two but, it’s very weird. I’m a lot more emotional now so if I see what I call a ‘beautiful match’, if I watch it at home by myself, I’ll have a hard time not having tears watching these matches. I wasn’t the producer for Becky versus Nattie at SummerSlam, but I did have a hand in helping with some ideas, and I was watching in Gorilla, that footage is somewhere. I’m watching in Gorilla with Seth , and WWE cameras are there. It’s kinda funny. Seth and I were sitting there in Gorilla watching this match, and I’m fighting these tears because there’s people there. When I’m watching it at home, Nattie usually falls asleep like two minutes into watching anything on the couch but I’m just sitting there crying to myself which I don’t know if that’s a part of the injury or my age and like I said, the big word’s gonna be fulfillment of, it feels really good to be a part of this and the two years I was away while I was injured and before I came back in this role, I felt very isolated and very on an island all to myself and it feels good to be back amongst my peers and the talent and the other producers that helped me a lot while I was a talent. So, it’s cool to give back. Wrestling and WWE gave me a very good opportunity as a talent. I just wanna give back and give everything that I can, now that I physically can’t do this anymore.”
Natalya followed up on TJ’s sentiments and added that there are many wrestlers on the WWE roster that demand to work with TJ. The likes of Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Naomi, Asuka and more names all push to have TJ Wilson agent their matches.
“And there’s a little lineup for TJ as a producer. This feels great to be able to say this, but the other week I was talking to John Laurinaitis who happens to be in charge of the producers and I was saying to him, just about how sometimes with TJ it’s like, it’s tricky because we’re in a relationship together but I really like when he helps me with my matches, and Fit Finlay had a shoulder surgery and so he’s been out and Fit’s usually been with the girls but since Fit’s been gone, everybody’s been like, ‘Okay, the girls have to get their ducks in a row’ and it’s funny because Johnny is like, ‘Gosh, so many people are coming up to me and asking me about TJ being their producer’, and so many talent come up to me being like, ‘I want TJ’ and it’s from Seth to Randy to Becky to myself to Naomi to Asuka. Everybody wants to have TJ as their producer and it makes me feel so good when talent come to me and say, ‘We got TJ!’ Because I just think that part of TJ’s destiny — nobody ever wants to get hurt, but it’s crazy to see how… I feel like it was just part of his destiny to get to where he is right now. Like it was something that was meant to be for him.”
Nattie also chatted about how she got started in WWE. She was the last to get signed by the company between herself, TJ Wilson and Davey Boy Smith Jr. Natalya does feel that for them, it was difficult to get signed because of Bret Hart’s relationship with WWE at the time, via the Montreal Screwjob.
“I had a really hard time getting hired. I won’t get into too many details but, I think because of the conflict with Bret and the Screwjob and there was just so much tension with the family, I think it did make things a little tricky because whether anybody wants to believe or not and I’ll just come right out and say it, in the world, not just in wrestling but in the world, there’s politics, there’s nepotism, there’s politics, there’s friends that are friends… we didn’t have that luxury because Bret had conflict with the company, and so it was really hard and I just had to basically get in their faces and not take ‘no’ for an answer so, it’s a great story because it makes me appreciate my career here so much more.”
** While speaking with Express Sport, Bianca Belair stated that she would not be against a move to RAW or SmackDown but feels she has a lot left to accomplish in NXT.
** Fast & Furious 9 which stars John Cena has been pushed back to April of 2021.
** Former NEVER Openweight Champion KENTA turned 39-years old on March 12th.
** Pro Wrestling-EVE’s Emily Read announced that she is resigning from her role in the promotion. She put out a detailed statement on Twitter regarding the matter.
** Santino Bros. in California announced that their March 13th and March 21st shows and all training sessions in the foreseeable future are cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, via a direct order from the California Department of Public Health. In regard to refunds, here’s what the promotion issued:
“For our amazing fans who have already purchased tickets to the March 21 show, Pay your Dues, we have 2 options available. Please let us know what you prefer. Full refund will be issued or we can rollover your ticket to our next show (date to be determined) with a seat upgrade or if you have already purchased ringside seating, we will be offering merchandise gift packs instead of a seat upgrade. We will keep you informed as much as possible as to the re-opening of the dojo and future shows via our website & social media. Please stay safe.”
** DDT Pro Wrestling Results (3/11/20) Saitama, Japan
– Konosuke Takeshita, Yuki Ino & MAO def. Danshoku Dino, Keigo Nakamura & Super Sasadango Machine
– Kazusada Higuchi, Saki Akai & Yukio Sakaguchi def. Makoto Oishi, Naomi Yoshimura & Saori Anou
– Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao & Tetsuya Endo def. Akito, Mizuki Watase & Royce Chambers
– Handicap Match: Akito, Konosuke Takeshita & Royce Chambers def. Gota Ihashi, Makoto Oishi, Munenori Sawa, Pokotan, Shota, Super Sasadango Machine, Tamarlin & Yumehito Imanari
– DDT Extreme Division Championship – Death Match: Shinya Aoki def. HARASHIMA (c)
– Eight Man Tag Team Death Match: Konosuke Takeshita, Shunma Katsumata, Yuki Ino & Yukio Naya def. Atsushi Onita, Chris Brookes, Danshoku Dino & MAO
** Chris Van Vliet conducted an interview with Matt Striker.
** Ronda Rousey uploaded her most recent gaming stream to her YouTube channel:
** WWE’s female athletes participated in a no-make-up photo shoot:
** Below is episode nine of Battle of the Brands on SmackDown vs. RAW with Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze:
** A new video premiered on the K5 NETWORK YouTube channel featuring Braun Strowman, EC3 and Drake Maverick enjoying themselves at the Smash Room in Tampa, Florida.
** A new episode of ‘If It’s on the Internet’ was uploaded to WWE’s YouTube channel. The show is about wrestlers addressing rumors about them on social media.
** Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards welcomed AEW President Tony Khan onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. During his appearance on the podcast, Tony stated that MJF was making little-to-no money by way of his last contract before he signed with All Elite Wrestling.
“Working on these things has been a privilege for me. Scouting out the next young group of guys and a bunch of these guys, I made promises to them like an MJF. Like, you’re gonna come here, you’re gonna become a star. Stay with me, sign along. This is somebody who I don’t wanna say burned, but signed a contract where he was getting paid not a lot of money. Like a hundred or something bucks a shot before this. So to get him to sign a long-term contract involves trust and commitment. He trusted me and trusted this was gonna be a real thing and that’s a guy who’s gonna be a TV star for a long time to come.”
** Drew McIntyre appeared on the Gorilla Position podcast.
** Ring of Honor cancelled a meet and greet session today in Las Vegas. Marty Scurll and PCO were scheduled to be the focuses of those meet and greet but with the Coronavirus outbreak, ROH did want to take any risks. ROH also announced that at ‘Pure Excellence’ on April 11th, La Faccion Ingobernable (RUSH, Dragon Lee & Kenny King) are taking on ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Bandido, Flamita and Rey Horus.
** Soon-to-be WWE Hall Of Famer Dave Bautista is scheduled for Phoenix Con on the weekend of May 22nd.
** On the March 12th episode of NXT UK on the WWE Network, Finn Balor appeared on the program and was confronted by Imperium. Imperium tried to get the better of Balor but Balor was able to escape. Balor faced Alexander Wolfe in the main event. Gallus (Joe Coffey, Mark Coffey & Wolfgang) sent feelers out to Finn Balor about potentially joining them. On next week’s show, Gallus is taking on the tandem on Dave Mastiff, Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews. In two weeks, Jordan Devlin is set to defend his NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Travis Banks.
** Championship Wrestling from Hollywood has cancelled their upcoming television tapings.
If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.