In news that isn't completely shocking coming from the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared that Florida WWE is an essential business. Despite the sport being the opposite of safe social distancing measures, the company will resume all live shows. Response to this news varies from complete support to total disagreement.
The press briefing comes Monday after a wrestler had tested positive for COVID-19 while the state is under a stay-at-home order.
In the press conference, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings noted that while WWE was not initially included in the essential order, after "some conversation" with Gov. DeSantis the state decided to reverse their decision and exempt them from the state's shelter-in-place order.
"They're like a small family of professional athletes that wrestle and if only one of my family members tested positive in my house that would be concerning to me. We would have to make some provisions at my house so the rest not get infected. I assume from a business perspective the WWE is doing that type of analysis of its own family," Demings continued.
The only stipulation is that the shows will continue to be closed off to the general public.
Based on the memo this could also mean that other sports programs in the state could follow suit.
Just as quickly as the news broke, Twitter users were quick to react to the addition, including rapper Freddie Gibbs. Even a Harvard scientist chimed in.
How D’Fuck is WWE wrasslin’ an essential business in Florida?— Big 🐰 (@Big 🐰)1586865814.0
I CANT. I JUST CANT TODAY. 🤦🏻♂️ Amid lockdown, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been deemed an “essential… https://t.co/P5epsHZS8U— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding)1586875787.0
Others made light of the news by showing their appreciation to all essential workers including the pro wrestlers, while also, acknowledging their contributions.
Thank you to all the essential workers helping us through this pandemic: doctors, nurses, delivery people, WWE Cham… https://t.co/cLfJKc2LCb— Jensen Karp (@Jensen Karp)1586834039.0
Seems sensible . . . how could Floridians survive without a daily dose of flying drop-kicks? Gives the phrase, “you… https://t.co/pepmezR7eH— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner)1586864119.0
The decision to make wrestling an essential job wasn't overwhelmingly welcomed.
Former WWE wrestler Ryback Allen Reeves joined the conversation and made a call to action for other wrestlers to reject the decision by refusing to perform.
Now is the time for ALL wrestling talent to stand together and refuse to perform. Nothing changes without courage a… https://t.co/8050djRvHD— The Big Guy (@The Big Guy)1586708818.0
In a statement to CNN, the production company said the move to continue airing was important because it gave individuals "a diversion from these hard times."Live televised shows have already begun airing last Monday, including WrestleMania, their biggest event of the year.