By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings stated during a media briefing on Monday that WWE is now considered essential business by the Florida governor’s office. “I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business,” Demings said. “With some conversation with the governor’s office regarding the governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business and therefore they were allowed to remain open.”
Demings was also asked about the WWE employee who tested positive for the coronavirus. “In terms of the specifics associated with the wrestler or personality who tested positive, I don’t know any of the details of that obviously because of HIPAA laws, etc.,” said Demings. “I don’t know that. But that’s like a little family, a small family of professional athletes that wrestle. If one of my family members tested positive in my house that would be concerning to me. We would have to make some provisions at my house to make sure that the rest of us not get infected. So I would assume that from a business perspective, the WWE is doing that type of analysis of its own family.” Watch the full video at Orange County Facebook Page.
Powell’s POV: So the decision was made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and that paved the way for WWE to run live television shows three times per week (Raw, NXT, Smackdown). The belief is that WWE is leery of running taped shows because it could put them in breech of their television agreements. Ideally, the television networks would agree to change any wording that requires the company to produce a certain number of live shows each year so that they could at least get back to holding longer tapings to limit the amount of travel in and out of the area by wrestlers and crew members. There’s no indication as to whether this same distinction applies to All Elite Wrestling, which has run some editions of the weekly Dynamite series from Jacksonville, Florida’s Daily’s Place venue.
Orange County Mayor Demmings just now on WWE maintaining live tapings:
“Originally, they were not deemed an essential business. With some conversation with the governor’s office regarding the governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business.”
— Harry (@harryaaron) April 13, 2020