For the WWE, the show must go on, no matter the circumstances. In early 2020, Wrestlemania 36 seemed to be one of their biggest cards ever: Drew McIntyre would bring his comeback story to life with a headlining match against Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns would go face to face with WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg, and the Undertaker would return to wrestle fan favorite AJ Styles, among many other bouts.
Yet like the rest of the world, March 2020 would force WWE to flip its script, scrapping its intended major arena venue in favor of their secluded Performance Center location and reshaping a number of bouts, now in front of an audience of zero, on the fly.
Within hours of the new Wrestlemania 36, the company’s biggest star (and leukemia survivor), Roman Reigns, would drop out of the show, while big angles for The Undertaker, John Cena, and Rob Gronkowski were reworked outside of the ring entirely.
At the end of the day, the decisions would work out in the end: The Cena/Fiend match displayed WWE at their creative best while Roman Reigns’ absence would fuel a stellar heel turn that revitalized his career at Summerslam 2020. However, WWE’s first empty-room pay-per-view still has a haunting, awkward quality about it, especially considering most of the world was still quarantined during this time.
Where to Watch: You can watch this clip on Peacock.