The Show Must Go On
April 14, 2020

In the least surprising news of the week, the WWE has been deemed an "essential business" in Florida

1st WWE McMahon Million Dollar Mania Winners Announcement

Jamie McCarthy

Healthcare workers. Law enforcement. Sanitation employees and the guy delivering your FreshDirect in the pouring rain. Subway conductors, bus drivers, and the teenager stocking the toilet paper shelf at your local supermarket. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, these are essential operations staffed with essential personnel. Without these people and businesses, America would grind to an even greater halt, and so they press on, much to our appreciation. This week, however, the great state of Florida has seen fit to make a crucial addition to their "essential business" roster: The WWE. Yes, as in World Wrestling Entertainment. Here's the gif you all knew was coming.

OK, so go ahead and laugh. First of all, we could all use a chuckle right now, and second of all this might be the most Florida thing we've heard since those spring break kids decided they would rather die than not go to Pensacola (the inverse of how that equation should work).

Asked on Monday why the WWE Performance Center in Orlando has been allowed to stay in business while non-essential companies have closed, Orlando county mayor Jerry Demings replied, ""I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business. With some conversation with the Governor’s office regarding the Governor’s order, they were deemed an essential business. And so, therefore, they were allowed to remain open."

So what changed? Time for another gif!

Unfortunately the truth is a little more complicated than Vince McMahon waltzing into Tallahassee and kicking the political door down. As anybody with Google could easily learn, the WWE, which has been using the Orlando Performance Center to shoot those inadvertently hilarious episodes of Raw without any fans, was at risk of defaulting on their shiny new $200-million contract with Fox. Thankfully for the WWE, however, McMahon's wife Linda just so happens to be the chair of President Trump's America First Action SuperPAC, and yadda yadda yadda, suddenly piledrivers are an "essential business." Go figure.

But hey, no need to get bogged down in cynicism if you don't want. You have our permission, for the millionth time, to just point at Florida and laugh. Lord knows they don't mind.