Paul “Triple H” Levesque says WWE is so intent on holding WrestleMania 36 this weekend in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic because it wants to provide fans with needed entertainment and relief.
“We feel like it’s necessary,” the company’s executive vice president of global talent strategy and development told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Wednesday. “I think (canceling the event) was obviously considered, but we feel like it’s an obligation for us. Our fans have been there for us for years and years and years and we want to be there for them and in this time where everybody is just doing their best to get through this and kind of stuck at home. The world needs entertainment right now and we feel sort of an obligation to give them that.”
When Helwani asked how WWE responds to critics bashing its decision to press on with the show during the COVID-19 outbreak, Levesque said he believes the company is providing something the world needs right now.
“There’s going to be critics of everything,” Levesque said. “I think we’re doing this, one, to provide what we believe is an essential service in entertaining our fans, entertaining people around the world.”
As for how the Saturday-Sunday show from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., will look and feel without fans, Triple H promised the company will do the best it can.
“Whether it’s exactly what we’d like it to be or what they would like it to be, it probably won’t be but it will be a version of that,” Levesque said. “We will make it the spectacle that it needs to be and that we can to the best of our ability, but we’ll give people something to be entertained by.”
He added that WWE is taking “all the precautions necessary” to keep the company’s performers and staff as safe as possible.
“We’re working with the governments officials very closely locally,” he said. “We’re taking all the precautions, we’re screening our talent. We’re making sure that there are no risks. Anybody who’s uncomfortable doing this doesn’t have to. The crew and the staff is very, very limited.
“We’re working with talent in waves where we bring them in for their particular stuff and then they can leave and keeping people as separated as possible. So, trying to do this in as safe a way as possible, but yet still being able to perform a vital service.”
Levesque expressed similar sentiments in an interview with DAZN’s Pat McAfee. He said WrestleMania will give fans a temporary “escape” from talking about the coronavirus.
Last week, it was reported Roman Reigns wouldn’t participate in WrestleMania 36 because his battle with leukemia has compromised his immune system. This week, Reigns offered his thoughts in an Instagram post.
Just piggy backing my boy @flex_lewis ‘s thoughts on kindness and being thoughtful to others. Along with a brief explanation of what’s going on with me. Unity and accountability to this crazy power of connectivity. Be safe y’all and hands off them faces! Ah yessir.
A post shared by Joe Anoai aka “Roman Reigns” (@romanreigns) on
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