Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Florida deems the WWE an "essential" business, and there's nothing shady about that at all

Illustration for article titled Florida deems the WWE an essential business, and theres nothing shady about that at all
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

Here’s some totally normal news that requires no further examination: Florida governor Ron DeSantis has decided that the WWE is an “essential business,” like grocery stories and pharmacies, and will therefore allow the organization (which has a large training facility in the state) to continue operating despite the ongoing social-distancing and isolation recommendations in affect from the coronavirus pandemic. The WWE had previously been denied “essential” status, possibly because it doesn’t sell food or medicine, but the change apparently came down straight from DeSantis’ office as part of a new rule that grants the “essential” designation to “professional sports and media production with a national audience” as long as the sports and media are conducted at a location that is “closed to the general public.” Baseball has an audience, basketball has an audience, but the WWE just held Wrestlemania without an audience, meaning it—and pretty much only it—fits within these new guidelines.

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So yeah, there’s nothing particularly questionable about that… unless you start taking into account the lengths that WWE mastermind Vince McMahon will famously go to for his brand, his family’s support of Republican politicians, the importance of Florida to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, and the fact that every other professional sport and scripted television show (we can consider this to be both, right?) has been smart enough to completely shut down—leaving the WWE and its family of products to be one of the few organizations that is now continuing to put out new content. Then there are thing like this, suggesting that the WWE’s very convenient fit in these very convenient new guidelines is all part of the plan:

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Plus, as Entertainment Weekly points out, DeSantis has made a habit of downplaying the threat of the virus, saying recently that he didn’t think anyone under 25 has died from the virus (even though several have). Basically, either this is totally normal news that we don’t need to read into, or it’s a perfect storm of people who stand to benefit in some way from ignoring how dangerous the virus is. For that to be true, though, we’d have to accept that some people in the highest levels of both government and wrestling are somewhat unscrupulous, and that’s just silly.

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