ESPN.com is reporting that a WWE spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that the company will resume live television shows beginning next week despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Also according to the same report, starting Monday with Raw, WWE will run live shows without fans after several weeks of taped programming.
It is being said that Raw and SmackDown are reportedly expected to air live from the WWE Performance Center and that NXT is reportedly expected to air live from Full Sail University. It was originally believed that NXT was also to air live from the Performance Center.
We had previously reported that WWE made changes to their television taping schedule with Raw, NXT and Friday Night SmackDown airing live, and taking place from the WWE Performance Center with only essential personnel in attendance.
It was also confirmed by ESPN what we had previously reported on Saturday, that a WWE employee had tested positive for coronavirus. The individual became symptomatic several weeks ago after the promotion’s previous round of television tapings and that they view the situation as “low risk” to others on staff.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state which began on April 1 and goes through April 30. Only essential businesses are supposed to remain open during that time. Essential businesses include those in health care, financial, energy, food, communications and transportation sectors.
A request for comment by ESPN from DeSantis’ office was not immediately returned Saturday.
The statement WWE issued to ESPN regarding resuming live TV matches beginning Monday can be read below:
“We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” the statement said. “We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance.”