Friday, March 27, 2020

Guess who fiddles while the sports world is quarantined?

As I write, Wrestlemania is just over a week away, a two-night event this year due in part to COVID-19. At a time when one major sports event after another (i.e. Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500) is being postponed because of the virus, WWE Chairman/CEO Vincent K. McMahon, 74, stubbornly presses on. Wrestlemania was originally set for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, home to the NFL Buccaneers and XFL Vipers, but was moved to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando due to the virus.

Vincent McMahon

There are those who questioned McMahon's unwillingness to break from tradition and postpone the big dance. Problem is, the proposed make-up date, June 7, puts it within 2 months of the 3rd of the Big 4 PPV's, Summerslam, scheduled for mid-August. This week's television programming was pre-recorded, as will be the case next week, including Wrestlemania. The belief is that McMahon, who reportedly was in Orlando for the tapings this week, despite the fact that fellow septugenarian Jerry Lawler, 70, missed Raw, and likely is out indefinitely, back home in Memphis.

Karma, meanwhile, is sending McMahon a very strong message.

Already, four title matches scheduled for the event have had to be altered.

Michael "The Miz" Mizanin, 1/2 of Smackdown's tag team champions, has been sidelined with an undisclosed illness. He & John Morrison (Hennegan) were supposed to face the winner of a match between long time frenemies The Usos and The New Day, airing tonight, at Wrestlemania.

Roman Reigns (Joseph Anoi'a), a two-time Lukemia survivor, withdrew from a Universal title match vs. Bill Goldberg due to his own health concerns. An angle on Smackdown will reveal Reigns' replacement.

Dana Brooke had been named as one of five challengers just a week ago for the Smackdown women's title, held by Bayley (Pamela Martinez-Solow), has withdrawn due to being quarantined, likely due to exposure to COVID-19.

US champion Andrade, in line to add the Raw tag titles in a match where he'd team with Angel Garza vs. The Street Profits, is out with a rib injury. Austin Theory is being called up from NXT to fill the vacant slot. despite losing a TV match two nights ago to Tyler Breeze.

There is also concern over the following:

Edge (Adam Copeland), with his health history, may postpone his Last Man Standing match vs. Randy Orton. We'll know for sure come Monday at the latest.

Brock Lesnar, the WWE champion, lives in Canada, and due to the travel ban implemented by President Trump, may not be able to appear, postponing his match vs. Scotland's Drew McIntyre (Galloway), which would be the 5th title match affected by the health crisis.

Former champion Rey Mysterio (Oscar Gutierrez) is also under quarantine at present, but it is not clear if he was exposed to COVID-19. For this reason, Andrade was moved into the tag title match vs. The Street Profits, but now that's been flipped.

McMahon can brag about having vindicated himself against the US Government over 25 years ago, but Karma's a completely different opponent. As Nero reputedly fiddled while Rome burned to the ground many centuries ago, McMahon is fiddling with the health of his personnel while trying to protect his bottom line. At a time when, because of his age, he should be home, enjoying his sunset years, the workaholic McMahon, like his pal, President Donald Trump, is thumbing his nose at common sense at the wrong time. We'll see how everything unfolds over the next 10 days, but, trust me, McMahon, the man who alienated wrestling purists with his expansion of the family business in the mid-80's, will find he has to pay a heavy price this time.


Spuddie said...

"While the character Vince is an a—hole, it's important to know that the real Vince is also an a—hole,"
-John Oliver March 30, 2019

hobbyfan said...

I remember reading about that a year ago. That same remark applies to his buddy Trump.

Steven Dolce said...

COVID-19 needs to STOP.

hobbyfan said...

Patience, Steven. It will run its course.