During a press conference late Tuesday, April 14th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis clarified the order that allows WWE to operate as an essential business. On April 9th, the memorandum on essential business was updated by the state’s top emergency official to include “employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience … only if the location is closed to the general public.”
While this has been taken by many to only include WWE, as Orange County Mayor Demings stated, that is incorrect. This actually allows ALL wrestling promotions, including (but not limited to) WWE, AEW, IMPACT, ROH, and UFC to continue business in Florida. This memorandum also allows all professional sports to continue if the guidelines required can be followed.
In this time of crisis, especially with the WWE announcing extensive and massive layoffs today, this could be seen as a beacon of hope. This gives all of sports entertainment an opportunity to continue producing, filming, and airing new content. Regarding the decision, Governor DeSantis said the following:
“I think people are chomping at the bit. I mean, if you think about it, we’ve never had a period like this in modern American history where you’ve had such little new content, particularly in the sporting realm. I mean, people are watching, we’re watching, like, reruns from the early 2000s, watching Tom Brady do the Super Bowl then, which is neat because he’s gonna be in Tampa and I think they have a chance to win a Super Bowl this year. But I think people, to be able to have some light at the tunnel, see that things may get back on a better course — I think from just a psychological perspective I think is a good thing.”
Hopefully more of the industry takes the Governor up on this and returns to Florida. As stated previously, this could very well be the light that we all need right now.