Florida Deems WWE Essential

WWE resumes broadcasting live shows
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2020 3:42 AM CDT
Florida Deems Wrestling an Essential Business
World Wrestling Entertainment star The Undertaker is greeted by fans during the WWE Super ShowDown in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

World Wrestling Entertainment has been deemed an essential business in Florida. As TMZ reports (noting "no joke. This is real"), Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings was asked why WWE was still being allowed to film at Orlando's Performance Center. Demings said that while WWE was initially deemed non-essential after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered non-essential businesses shuttered, "With some conversation with the Governor’s office regarding the Governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business. And so, therefore, they were allowed to remain open." A rep from DeSantis' office later confirmed to ESPN the decision was made for certain services that are critical to the state's economy. CNN reports WWE resumed broadcasting live shows Monday. It reportedly plans to continue airing Raw, NXT, and SmackDown on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

A memo signed Thursday reportedly says sports and media production with a national audience can continue as long as no fans are involved. While one WWE performer has tested positive for COVID-19, the organization says it believes the performer caught the coronavirus from a medical worker, and he or she is not believed to have passed it to anyone else in the organization. "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," a statement says. "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." (More World Wrestling Entertainment stories.)

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