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2019–20 coronavirus pandemic

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019 and recognised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.

Effects on wrestling

Due to the pandemic, many changes had to be made to professional wrestling events. A wide variety of shows were forced to either completely cancel, postpone, or make different accommodations.

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling were forced to move many of their events as a result of the pandemic and to comply with health standards. Tony Khan also announced to the roster that they were allowed to miss events if they felt the need and that they wouldn't be punished or missing the event.[1] They announced on March 12, 2020 that the locations of their March 18 and March 25 editions of AEW Dynamite had to be rescheduled.[2]

The following day they also announced the rescheduling of the April 1 and April 8 edition of Dynamite.[3]

All Japan Pro Wrestling

AJPW put on their last event on February 26, 2020 before going on a hiatus until March 22, 2020.

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre

On March 15, 2020 CMLL announced that all shows beginning with the planned March 14 episode of Sabados de Coliseo will be postponed until March 21, 2020.[4]

Dramatic Dream Team/Tokyo Joshi Pro

Dramatic Dream Team, as well as their sister promotion Tokyo Joshi Pro, began hosting events that took place in empty arenas at the end of February and beginning of March 2020.

Dragon Gate

Following the event Dragon Gate Champion Gate In Osaka 2020 - Night 2, Dragon Gate went on a scheduled hiatus until March 21, 2020.

International Wrestling Revolution Group

Beginning on March 16, 2020 - IWRG began showing empty arena matches. This was a decision made by the company instead of coming from a commission or government body.[5]

National Wrestling Alliance

On March 16, 2020 - the National Wrestling Alliance announced that they have cancelled live performancess until June, including the NWA Crockett Cup pay-per-view and the television tapings of NWA Powerrr. The March 17, 2020 episode of Powerrr was postponed so that it could be re-edited and NWA put up the NWA 70th Anniversary Show in its' place.

New Japan Pro Wrestling

On February 26, 2020 - New Japan put out an official statement saying that they were cancelling all events from March 1, 2010 through March 15, 2020.[6] New Japan then later announced on March 10, 2020 that were would be cancelled the rest of the scheduled events of the New Japan Cup tour, which would last through March 21, 2020.[7]

On March 23, NJPW announced the cancellation of two events - Sakura Genesis and the April 11th Road to Dontaku show. [8]

On March 31, NJPW announced additional cancellations of their events.[9]

On April 7, NJPW announced the cancellation of the entire Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2020 as well as Wrestling Dontaku 2020. As a result, all events were cancelled until May 4, 2020.[10]

On May 6, the cancellation of the Best of the Super Junior 27 tour was anounced, which meant that there would be no events until after June 6.[11]

Pro Wrestling NOAH

Following the event NOAH Pro Wrestling Noah 20th Anniversary NOAH The Chronicle Vol. 1, NOAH went on a hiatus until March 20, 2020.

NOAH briefly resumed live events beginning on March 21, 2020 with the event NOAH The Spirit 2020.

However, on April 7th, they announced that they will be halting live events going forward because another spread of the coronavirus. [12] They announced that they would be cancelling all events until May 6th. [13]

Ring of Honor

On March 17, 2020 - Ring of Honor announced that they will be cancelling all of their events until May 31, 2020 at the minimum. [14]

On May 1, Ring of Honor announced the cancellation of all of their scheduled June events. [15]

World Wonder Ring Stardom

After Stardom No People Gate, which took place in an empty arena, Stardom went on hiatus until March 22, 2020. Stardom's first show in front of a crowd took place on March 24, 2020 with the Stardom Cinderella Tournament 2020.

World Wrestling Entertainment

World Wrestling Entertainment as a result of the pandemic began to move their shows from arenas where they were originally scheduled to the WWE Performance Center. The first instance of this began with the March 13, 2020 edition of WWE Smackdown.

On March 16, WWE announced that WrestleMania 36 would be held at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando with only "essential personnel" in attendance, as with all other WWE weekly programs during this crisis.[16]. In addition, they announced that the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony would be postponed, as well as NXT Takeover: Tampa Bay. The remainder of the WrestleMania events were cancelled.

On March 18, WWE announced that for the first time ever WrestleMania would take place on two nights and be hosted by Rob Gronkowski.[17] The first part of WrestleMania aired on April 4th, 2020 and featured the main event of The Undertaker and AJ Styles in the first ever Boneyard match. The second part of WrestleMania aired on April 5 and featured Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar competing in the main event for the WWE Championship.

After weeks of WWE's television programs being pre-taped at the WWE Performance Center, Monday Night Raw, NXT, and WWE Smackdown were allowed to begin resuming live starting with the April 13 edition of RAW. This was allowed to take place even though Florida had a stay-at home order until April 30th because WWE was deemed an essential business by the Florida governor.[18]

On April 15, World Wresting Entertainment were forced to do a mass layoff of employees including in-office employees, wrestlers, officials, and other personnel. [19] The following wrestlers were released: Aiden English, Curt Hawkins, Drake Maverick, EC3, Epico, Eric Young, Heath Slater, Kurt Angle, Karl Anderson, Lio Rush, Luke Gallows, Maria Kanellis, Mike Kanellis, Primo, No Way Jose, Rowan, Rusev, Sarah Logan, and Zack Ryder. Official Mike Chioda was also released.

Additional employees let go include the following: [20]

Additional releases continued with WWE releasing Cain Velasquez on April 28[21] and Curtis Axel on April 30.[22]. Gerald Brisco also confirmed that he was part of the employees who had been furloughed. [23]

XFL (2020)

Vince McMahon as owner and operator of the XFL was also affected by the coronavirus pandemic. After five weeks of operation, the league announced that its season would close on March 8, 2020 because of growing COVID-19 pandemic concerns and social distancing mandates.[24] On April 10, the league suspended day-to-day operations and laid off its employees, it filed for bankruptcy three days later and put itself up for sale.[25]

List of affected events

Event Scheduled Date Status Notes
DDT DDT UNIVERSE LIVE! One Chan Sunday March 1, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
TJP Spring Beautiful One Day Tournament 2020 March 1, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
DDT DDT UNIVERSE LIVE! One Chan Tuesday March 3, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
DDT DDT UNIVERSE LIVE! One Chan Saturday March 7, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
Stardom No People Gate March 8, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
TJP Shuffle Unit Battle By Color "Red, Blue, Yellow Big Clash In Dojo" March 8, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
DDT DDT LIVE! Maji Manji Rojo Wrestling In Saitama Super Arena March 11, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
EVOLVE 147 March 13, 200 Rescheduled Rescheduled date to May 8, 2020.
NXT House Show March 13, 2020 Cancelled This house show was scheduled inVenice, Florida.
ROH 18th Anniversary Show March 13, 2020 Cancelled
Smackdown March 13, 2020 Held The show was performed at the WWE Performance Center with an empty arena.
CMLL Sabados De Coliseo March 14, 2020 March 14, 2020 Cancelled
EVOLVE 148 March 14, 2020 Rescheduled Rescheduled date to May 9, 2020.
NXT House Show March 14, 2020 Cancelled This house show was scheduled to take place in Daytona Beach, Florida
OTT Scrappermania 6 March 14, 2020 Cancelled
ROH Past vs. Present March 14, 2020 Cancelled
TJPW 25 1/2 Hours TV ~ Idols And A Place For The Future March 14, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
WWE House Show March 14, 2020 Cancelled
AIW Gauntlet For The Gold 15 March 15, 2020 Postponed The show as postponed because of state guidelines.
CMLL Domingos Arena Mexico March 15, 2020 Cancelled
OTT Scrappermania 6 March 15, 2020 Cancelled
WSU 13th Anniversary Show March 15, 2020 Held The show was performed with an empty arena.
WWE House Show March 15, 2020 Cancelled This house show was scheduled to take place at Youngstown, Ohio.
RAW March 16, 2020 Held The show was performed at the WWE Performance Center with an empty arena.
WrestleTalk Showcase: No Fans Monday March 16, 2020 Held This event was performed with an empty arena and was a charity show to raise money for wrestlers.
CMLL Martes Arena Mexico March 17, 2020 Cancelled
AEW Dynamite March 18, 2020 Held This show was relocated to the Daily's Place.
Homenaje Luctuoso Perro e Hijo del Perro Aguayo March 18, 2020 Postponed
NXT March 18, 2020 Held
CZW Unapproved March 21, 2020 Held This match was performed with an empty arena.
Rey De Reyes 2020 March 21, 2020 Postponed
BLP Empty House March 28, 2020 Held This show was performed with an empty arena. It was run as benefit to the wrestlers.
Impact Wrestling Lockdown 2020 March 28, 2020 Cancelled
The Crash March 28, 2020 Postponed
Impact Wrestling March Breakdown March 29, 2020 Cancelled
PWG KOBE March 29, 2020 Postponed
$5 Wrestling April 2, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
AIW Thunder In Paradise April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
GCW Jimmy Lloyd's D-Generation F April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
GCW Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 3 April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
NJPW Lion’s Break Project 3 April 2, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
No Peace Underground Shallow Graves April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
PROGRESS: Tampa April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial SuperShow 2020 April 2, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
WWE Hall of Fame 2020 April 2, 2020 Postponed WWE has announced that the event will be postponed to an undisclosed time in future.
WwN Accelerate: Initiate April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
WwN Accelerate: Conclusion April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising 2020 April 2, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
BLP Threat Level Midnight April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
Ethan Page's Body Guy Extravaganza April 3, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
EVOLVE 149 April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
GCW For The Culture April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
Impact Wrestling TNA There's No Place Like Home April 3, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
GCW Joey Janela's Spring Break 4 April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
KBB So Long To The Sunshine State April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
Markus Crane’s Bondage A-Go-Go April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020
Pizza Party Wrestling Birthday Bash April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
REVOLVER Pancakes & Piledrivers 4 April 3, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
SHIMMER Women Athletes Volume 120 April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
Tokyo Joshi Pro with DDT April 3, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
The Art of Wrestling Live April 3, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
Brian Zane’s Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
Effy’s Big Gay Brunch April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
EVOLVE 150 April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
FREEDOMS April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
Joey Ryan’s Penis Party II April 4, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
Takeover Hangover April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
Warhausen's Wrestlevania April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of The Collective 2020 events.
WrestleCon Worldwide April 4, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
wXw 16 Carat Gold Revenge April 4, 2020 Postponed Postponed as part of WrestleExpo 2020 events.
WrestleCon 2020 April 2 - April 5, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleCon 2020 events.
Beyond BigBalls April 5, 2020 Cancelled Cancelled as part of the WrestleMania weekend cancellations.
MLW Fusion taping April 12, 2020 Rescheduled Rescheduled for June 12, 2020.

Merchandise

In response to the global pandemic, many wrestling companies and independent manufacturers began to create face masks, as well as other merchandise.

References

  1. https://411mania.com/wrestling/tony-khan-not-pressuring-anyone-to-work-next-weeks-aew-dynamite/
  2. https://www.allelitewrestling.com/post/aew-dynamite-make-up-dates-for-rochester-and-newark-scheduled
  3. https://www.allelitewrestling.com/post/aew-dynamite-milwaukee-and-st-louis-rescheduled
  4. https://www.wrestlinginc.com/news/2020/03/changes-to-aaa-and-cmll-shows-667853/
  5. http://www.thecubsfan.com/cmll/2020/03/17/aaa-shows-postponed-iwrg-empty-arena-show-flammer-temporary-retirement/
  6. https://www.njpw1972.com/72903
  7. https://www.njpw1972.com/73438
  8. https://www.njpw1972.com/73631
  9. https://www.njpw1972.com/73788
  10. https://www.njpw1972.com/73901
  11. https://www.njpw1972.com/74453
  12. http://www.all-japan.co.jp/%e3%80%90%e6%89%95%e6%88%bb%e6%83%85%e5%a0%b1%e3%80%914%e6%9c%88%e5%90%84%e5%a4%a7%e4%bc%9a%e4%b8%ad%e6%ad%a2%e3%81%ab%e4%bc%b4%e3%81%86%e6%89%95%e3%81%84%e6%88%bb%e3%81%97%e3%81%ae%e3%81%8a%e7%9f%a5
  13. http://www.all-japan.co.jp/%e6%96%b0%e5%9e%8b%e3%82%b3%e3%83%ad%e3%83%8a%e3%82%a6%e3%82%a4%e3%83%ab%e3%82%b9%e6%84%9f%e6%9f%93%e7%97%87%e5%af%be%e7%ad%96%e3%81%ab%e4%bc%b4%e3%81%845%e6%9c%886%e6%97%a5%e3%81%be%e3%81%a7%e3%81%ae
  14. https://www.rohwrestling.com/news/roh-cancels-all-live-events-through-may-31st-2020
  15. https://www.rohwrestling.com/news/roh-cancels-all-june-live-events
  16. https://deadline.com/2020/03/wrestlemania-canceled-coronavirus-wwe-tampa-1202881422/
  17. https://www.newsweek.com/wwe-wrestlemania-36-two-nights-locations-dates-card-rumors-1493135
  18. https://www.cbssports.com/wwe/news/wwe-to-resume-live-tv-tapings-after-being-deemed-essential-business-by-florida-governors-office/
  19. https://www.wwe.com/article/wwe-talent-releases-kurt-angle-drake-maverick-karl-anderson
  20. https://411mania.com/wrestling/wwe-releases-luke-gallows-karl-anderson-and-four-other-talents-more-coming/
  21. https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/04/cain-velasquez-released-by-wwe-ufc-champion-brock-lesnar
  22. https://www.wwe.com/article/curtis-axel-released
  23. https://www.wrestlinginc.com/news/2020/04/gerald-brisco-comments-on-his-wwe-status-and-future-669733/
  24. https://www.espn.com/xfl/story/_/id/28894247/xfl-cancels-regular-season-games-committed-playing-2021
  25. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/sports/football/xfl-bankruptcy-vince-mcmahon.html

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