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WWE targeting a mid-July return to touring

AEW may not be the only major pro wrestling company heading back on the road in July as WWE is looking to do the same.

In this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer confirmed the news that was first reported by Mat Men's Andrew Zarian on Thursday that WWE is exploring a return to touring in a few months.

Zarian first said that Friday, July 16th's SmackDown would be the first such show with fans. He later specified the message he recieved was "fans back July 16-19" and wasn't sure if that meant a one-off stretch or not.

What is unknown is whether the first shows will be at the ThunderDome at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida, or in another city completely. It's also unknown if house shows are still in the plan for the future and if so, how that schedule will change from past years.

During multiple investors calls, WWE president Nick Khan said that when the company is ready to go back on the road, there is "no looking back," meaning they would not keep a central ThunderDome-esque location. CFO Kristina Salen said on the same calls that the company was hoping to return to touring in the second half of the year.  

Outside this year's WrestleMania in Tampa, Florida, WWE hasn't run a house show or TV taping without pandemic-related attendance restrictions since March while NXT allows limited fans inside the Performance Center for Tuesday shows.

The news comes in the same week AEW announced they will return to touring with Dynamite starting the first week of July. They announced three dates in Florida and Texas that go on sale Friday.