WWE is currently planning an ambitious taping schedule that would cover them through WrestleMania.
We were informed at POST Wrestling by multiple people, as of Thursday, the company will be taping the remaining episodes of Friday Night SmackDown and Raw leading into WrestleMania.
One source we spoke with indicated that they are expecting both WrestleMania shows to be taped over the next week as well. Another was unsure if that was the case. We have reached out to WWE regarding the proposed tapings and whether WrestleMania will be taped in advance.
On Wednesday, the company announced that WrestleMania will be split up over two nights airing Saturday, April 4th and Saturday, April 5th primarily from the WWE Performance Center, but other locations as well.
The promotion will go ahead with a new episode of SmackDown this Friday night advertising WrestleMania host Rob Gronkowski and a contract signing involving Universal champion Bill Goldberg and Roman Reigns.
This upcoming taping schedule would include the March 23rd and March 30th editions of Raw, the March 27th and April 3rd editions of SmackDown, and possibly the two WrestleMania shows.
Given the success of this past Monday’s viewership of Raw that featured the re-airing of the men’s Royal Rumble match from January, the option is there to rely on archived matches and footage to reduce the amount of wrestling that would be needed for the television episodes.
One source with knowledge of the situation tells POST Wrestling that the only changes to the WrestleMania card are the elimination of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and the women’s battle royal. The other matches are set to go ahead and will be spread out over the two nights, with some yet to be announced matches on television.
Regarding testing being administered by WWE at the Performance Center for these ongoing shows, the company issued this statement to SI.com earlier this week:
In consultation with WWE Medical Director Dr. Maroon, WWE Associate Medical Director Dr. Dugas and ringside physician Dr. Westerfield, as a best practice and precautionary measure all WWE performers and staff are required to participate in medical screenings prior to entering WWE’s training center, which is now operating as a closed set.
POST Wrestling did reach out to WWE representatives and will update this story if they respond to our request for comment regarding the taping schedule.