Despite orders banning large gatherings of people preventing WWE from putting on its usual massive stadium show for WrestleMania 36, the event did go on. WWE just had to pretape the entire thing with no audience and air it over the course of two nights. Circumstances did force WWE to change some plans at the last minute. Roman Reigns dropped out of his match with Goldberg over health concerns, and The Miz fell ill, turning a triple threat tag team ladder match into a regular triple threat ladder match.
All things considered, a WrestleMania without a crowd actually worked pretty well, forcing WWE to do things a little bit differently than usual. Two segments, the Firefly Funhouse match between John Cena and Bray Wyatt and the Boneyard Brawl between The Undertaker and AJ Styles were filmed on location in a cinematic style, and they were both big hits. It was one of the most entertaining WrestleManias in a while.
Jerry Lawler Reveals Why He Missed WrestleMania
One WWE legend who wasn't a part of WrestleMania 36 is WWE Raw announcer Jerry "The King" Lawler. On his latest podcast, Lawler explained that WWE kept him out of the event on purpose. They were trying to protect The King due to reports that older people are more at risk for COVID-19 infection. Here's what Lawler had to say about it, courtesy of a transcription from Wrestling Inc.
"I'm thinking that I'll just be able to drive back up to the Performance Center the following Monday, but then of course I got the call saying Vince was a little concerned," Lawler said. "Because then the word was really strong, at that time, of course I think it's changed since then, but they were saying this coronavirus is mostly striking older individuals, or is tougher on older individuals. Of course now they're saying that's not the case, other than the fact that kids and everybody seems to have become a victim to it since that time. But anyway, word was sent down that I wouldn't need to come back for a few weeks until that travel ban and some of that stuff was lifted."
Though WWE was looking out for Lawler, there was one geriatric superstar the company did reportedly want to be on the show. According to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE tried to get Hulk Hogan to appear at the event, but they were unable to agree on how much to pay him. It's probably for the best, because who knows what Hogan would have said on TV. Lawler, for his part, says he'll be back at the WWE Performance Center to film Raw on Monday.