"WrestleMania": WWE Relocating Annual Classic to Performance Center Over Coronavirus Concerns

WWE has confirmed that this year's WrestleMania will no longer take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic as well as new health and safter laws implemented by the state. Scheduled for Sunday, April 5, the long-running wrestling event will instead be broadcast from the WWE's Performance Center in Orlando.

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WWE

Here's the WWE's official statement about the decision:

"In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place. However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE's training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania."

Now here's a look at the background leading up to the Brock Lesnar/Drew McIntyre WrestleMania Match for the WWE Championship:

It's been more than a decade, but Drew McIntyre is finally on the verge of becoming "The Chosen One," as Mr. McMahon once prophesized. The former 3MB rocker is now just one victory away from completing one of the longest and rockiest roads to WrestleMania glory in WWE history, as he has a chance to finish his journey by seizing the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar.

Indeed, it seemed The Chairman's prognostication would go unfulfilled when McIntyre left WWE in 2014, but he returned a changed man in 2017, sporting a rugged new look and a nasty mean streak. While a championship match on Raw eluded him in the early goings of his return, The Scottish Terminator seized the one surefire way to earn a title bout: win the 2020 Men's Royal Rumble Match.

In a career-making performance, McIntyre tossed out six of his fellow competitors in the annual extravaganza and notched one of the most unforgettable eliminations in WWE history when he tattooed Lesnar with a Claymore Kick that nearly knocked him into the stratosphere.

Drew needed less than 24 hours to select which titleholder he wanted to challenge at The Show of Shows, as he vowed to defeat Lesnar at WrestleMania.

The Beast Incarnate landed the first big blow on The Road to WrestleMania, however, as he attacked McIntyre and brutalized his new challenger after the Royal Rumble winner defeated Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson in a Handicap Match.

Despite never-ending criticism from the WWE Universe and his fellow Superstars, Lesnar remains the most dominant competitor in the business. In case anyone had forgotten, Lesnar defeated Kofi Kingston in just eight seconds to take the WWE Championship and racked up a record-tying 13 eliminations in this year's Royal Rumble before being met by McIntyre's boot.

Will Lesnar remind everyone why he is the most feared fighter on the planet, or will McIntyre at long last seize championship glory at The Showcase of the Immortals? Find out at WrestleMania 36, streaming live on the award-winning WWE Network on Sunday, April 5, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT!

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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