Florida’s statewide stay-at-home order ends on April 30, and Governor Ron DeSantis’ office has already taken several steps to loosen social distancing requirements ahead of that date. Included among those was making “professional sports and media production with a national audience” an essential business.
That almost certainly factored in AEW’s decision to resume broadcasts of Dynamite from the state. Wrestling Observer Newsletter says Tony Khan & company plan to do that starting on Weds., May 6. Dave Meltzer writes these broadcasts will likely be live, but it could just be more frequent tapings*.
AEW is said to be returning to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. Dynamite aired live from there in March before the stay-at-home order went into place and production was moved to Georgia. The company reportedly filmed months worth of content before closing up shop in the Peach State on April 2. Whether or how that footage will be used if live broadcasts resume every Wednesday is unclear.
Even though it won’t be happening in Las Vegas as planned, Double or Nothing is still scheduled to air on PPV on Sat., May 23. If filming at Daily’s goes smoothly, it would seem to be a likely candidate as a venue for that show. AEW’s Fight For The Fallen event emanated from there last July.
The new Dynamite episodes filmed in Florida will build to Double or Nothing. AEW only had a fraction of their roster at the Georgia taping, so wrestlers who may be featured on the PPV haven’t been on Dynamite for weeks. The bulk taping in April has allowed talent to quarantine on either side of travel if they do come in for the new Jacksonville shows; it’s not clear if they’ll still try to avoid using workers from COVID-19 hotspots like New York and California.
Khan has previously said a decision to stay home will not be held against wrestlers, and people are being paid whether they work shows or not, even if they’re on per-date deals, not annual contracts.
It goes without saying that whatever gets produced will happen without fans in the seats.
* Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to indicate live broadcasts were not reported as the definite plan. Information has also been added regarding talent plans.