WWE‘s gain appears to be indie wrestling’s loss as on Monday, both WrestleCon and Beyond were forced to cancel their WrestleMania Week shows.
In a shocking move, WWE made the decision to hold this year’s WrestleMania at the Performance Center during its regularly scheduled date. This comes in response to the city of Tampa essentially passing the ball to WWE, challenging them to cancel before Tampa pulled the plug. In the end, Vince McMahon and co. seemingly won out. WrestleMania will still be held, but without fans, without a crowd.
We don’t know if WC is running as planned, will be postponed, or will be cancelled
No WM = No WC
WM postponed = WC may run or may still cancel
If we cancel = We Refund your $
IF we postpone = We address your needs for $.
Right now = waiting on above = not doing refunds pic.twitter.com/64dBmKc8wl
— WrestleCon (@wrestlecon) March 12, 2020
And while this may work for WWE, the absence of a crowd offers no benefit to the 40-some indie wrestling promotions (and nearly 80 total activities including podcasts, comedy shows and various events) which were set to bring their operations to Tampa and hold shows during the ultra-lucrative WrestleMania Week. Due to CDC guidelines, travel restrictions, and city/state lockdowns, sadly, nearly half of these promotions have had to cancel or postpone their events. It’s been a tragic blow for indie wrestling and one where the hits don’t seem like they’ll stop coming.
On Monday, Beyond Wrestling, which as recently as four days ago, had previously committed to running its show with either capacity limited ticket sales or in an empty arena and streamed live, came out and announced Big Balls was going to have to be cancelled. As Beyond tweeted, regarding the logistics of this decision in light of the President’s suggestion of a 10 person limit of any crowd, “I always say ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way,’ but right now, even if we decided to do a no fans taping, how would we be able to limit it to 10 people between bar employees and production staff, nevermind wrestlers, referees, announcers, and the rest of the crew? Not possible…”
Please email [email protected] for a refund. These will most likely be handled manually so please be patient.
— Beyond Wrestling (@beyondwrestling) March 16, 2020
Then, WrestleCon was forced to announce the same. Having waited on WWE’s decision, the convention, which was set to host some of the weekend’s biggest names, had no choice but to call things off. With WrestleMania closing its door to fans, that meant less people to travel for the convention or other indie events. The writing was essentially on the wall because unfortunately, due to WWE not postponing its event, WrestleCon really had no other option but to cancel. But spirits seem to be up as in announcing their plan to offer refunds, WrestleCon ended its tweet saying, “see you in Los Angeles.”
WrestleCon’s schedule was extensive. In addition to a four-day long convention that included a WrestleMania pre-party, celebrity softball game, brunch with talents and appearances from Matt Hardy, Arn Anderson, Zack Sabre Jr., Will Ospreay, Tully Blanchard, Vickie Guerrero, Trish Stratus, Tito Santana, Tessa Blanchard, Terry Funk, Ted DiBiase, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Stan Hansen, Katsuyori Shibata, Shane Douglas, Scott Hall, Ron Simmons, Pete Rose, Minoru Suzuki, Mike Tyson, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Honky Tonk Man, Great Muta, Gail Kim, Dean Malenko, DDP, Chris Jericho, Brooke Hogan, Bret Hart and so, so much more, WrestleCon was also set to host nine of the week’s pro wrestling cards: New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Lion’s Break Project 3, the Mark Hitchcock Memorial Wrestlecon Supershow, $5 Wrestling, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling with DDT, Ethan Page’s Body Guy Extravaganza, Impact Wrestling’s TNA: There’s No Place Like Home, Wrestling Revolver’s Pancakes and Piledrivers 4, Wrestlecon Worldwide and Joey Ryan’s Penis Party.
— WrestleCon (@wrestlecon) March 16, 2020
Needless to say, the decision to cancel has been an absolute and brutal blow.
As we continue to get updates on how the coronavirus will affect wrestling companies such as WrestleCon and Beyond, both for WrestleMania Week and beyond, stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.