Coronavirus: WrestleMania 36 is still happening, without fans

Last updated at 08:46
WWE-WrestleMania.WWE

Despite almost every other sporting event being postponed or cancelled around the world, the WWE's biggest show is still going ahead this weekend.

WrestleMania 36 will begin on Saturday, almost as normal, although there will be no fans attending due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The event was originally supposed to take place in a big 65,000 seat stadium, the Raymond James Stadium in Florida.

It's home to American football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - that's why the WWE was using a pirate theme for the event.

But now, without fans, the WWE has moved the event to a training centre in Orlando, Florida, instead.

Despite the changes, WrestleMania will be a two-night event (Saturday and Sunday) for the first time ever and is being described by the WWE as "the only WrestleMania too big for just one night."

Having shows behind closed doors is nothing new for the WWE though. In recent weeks, its Raw and SmackDown events have been taking place in empty centres.

Paul-Triple H-Levesque.Getty Images
Paul "Triple H" Levesque says the WWE wants to entertain the fans

All of our talents are in this in a voluntary capacity. If they don't want to be a part of this, they feel there's a risk, for whatever reasons, be it themselves or somebody around them, they don't have to be here.

Paul "Triple H" Levesque, WWE

But, given countries, businesses and people around the world are trying to stop the spread of the virus, there have been questions asked as to whether the WWE should have continued with WrestleMania at all.

Paul 'Triple H' Levesque, executive vice president of global talent strategy & development for WWE, said: "In this time, we believe that entertainment for people is a necessity. We feel the obligation to do that for people. The fans are there for us all year-round."

But with advice and rules about social-distancing there are still concerns.

Some WWE talent have already decided against appearing, including Roman Reigns who pulled out of the main event match against Goldberg.

Reigns, who has had leukaemia - a type of cancer - on two occasions, said he doesn't want to risk his health by taking part.

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Roman Reigns - the WWE wrestler on leukaemia and ring life

"All of our talents are in this in a voluntary capacity. If they don't want to be a part of this, they feel there's a risk, for whatever reasons, be it themselves or somebody around them, they don't have to be here. Nothing is held against them for that, same with our crew and everybody else. We don't want to take chances on that," Triple H said.

There is no confirmed name to replace Roman Reigns at WrestleMania yet, but Braun Strowman is the favourite to step into the ring in his place.

Other highlights on the WrestleMania 36 card include The Undertaker vs AJ Styles in a Boneyard brawl, and a grudge match between Edge and Randy Orton.

Bayley will defend her title in a five-way match against Sasha Banks, Tamina, Naomi and Lacey Evans and John Cena is back facing "The Fiend".

The big fight of the night, though, is the WWE Championship showdown between current title-holder Brock Lesnar and Drew McIntyre.

Whatever happens in those matches, it will be a historic two nights for the WWE and WrestleMania.

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