On April 14, WWE was deemed an "essential business" by Florida officials. The statewide stay-at-home order was no longer applicable and the organization was once again able to hold events at the Performance Center in Orlando, provided no fans were in attendance. This was welcome news for WWE, but one animated show on CBS All Access had a different perspective.
Tooning Out the News, a show that puts animated news anchors together with real-world interviewees, posted a video on Instagram recently that mocked the essential business designation. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was shown explaining his decision during a press conference, but he was quickly interrupted. An animated professional wrestler appeared in order to call him out. Although this character was far more concerned about the spread of germs than he was about getting into the ring and facing off with DeSantis.
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"I will not step into the ring because I'm a touch germaphobic," the wrestler said. "My girlfriend says I should talk to someone, but I hate therapy over Zoom! If you want me in the ring, you know where to find me — in my basement baking sourdough bread and watching one of those movies that was supposed to be in theaters but is now available on-demand."
This classification as an "essential business" was frustrating to some considering that WWE had recently confirmed that one of the on-air talents had tested positive for the coronavirus. Many people voiced the opinion that professional wrestling is not essential at this time due to health and safety concerns. They wanted Vince McMahon to shut down operations for the time being.
The sports-entertainment organization responded to the news of the designation. WWE told TMZ that they "believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times." The organization also confirmed that only essential personnel was allowed in the Performance Center while the events were being filmed.
"We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance."