WWE officials reportedly have several back-up plans in place if they are no longer allowed to film TV content in the state of Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. However, the Observer also reported how there’s a belief that WWE can’t be shut down in Florida due to Linda McMahon’s Super PAC (Political Action Committee) pledging to spend $18.5 million in the Sunshine State for Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, and due to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis being loyal to Trump.
It was also noted by a source close to the situation, via the Observer, that WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon has DeSantis “by the balls.” It’s no secret that DeSantis wants WrestleMania to return to Florida once sports leagues are able to resume somewhat regular operations with fans. To prepare in case things get so bad in Florida that there is a complete lockdown, McMahon has had a study prepared and now has several different locations as a back-up plan.
One of the potential back-up locations is the WWE TV studios near company HQ in Stamford, CT, which is where the “Firefly Fun House” match between John Cena and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt was filmed for WrestleMania 36. It’s said that WWE can make that setting look similar to the setup they’ve used at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. One issue with using the Stamford location, and any other venue outside of Florida, is that they wouldn’t have the easy access to contracted wrestlers to use as crowd members.
The WWE SummerSlam location is still scheduled to be the Performance Center as of today. WWE continues to look for outdoor venues outside of Florida, and are still considering a beach or a boat to hold SummerSlam at on August 23. It was reported earlier this week that WWE has added a Payback pay-per-view to their internal schedule, planned for the week after SummerSlam on August 30. PWInsider reports that Payback is scheduled to take place at the Performance Center.