Just about everyone is having to deal with the trials and tribulations of the coronavirus, and WWE is no exception. While Vince McMahon and company are awaiting Tampa’s final word on WrestleMania 36‘s status, the company is going to move ahead and have Friday Night SmackDown this week on March 13, 2020. There have been a few changes, and that includes a new venue, as well as no fans in attendance.
SmackDown will not be happening at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, as originally planned. The promotion has officially moved the location to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier on Thursday, The Inquisitr reported that there were rumors of the blue brand canceling its show this week. It was later confirmed that the show would be taking place, but there were not many other details available at the time.
Speculation started flying around on Wednesday evening that WWE would cancel this week’s SmackDown, and the promotion vehemently denied it. They had not yet made a decision as of that time, but they revealed that there were contingency plans available if needed.
With the “Road to WrestleMania” in full swing and the build-up needing to continue if the event takes place next month, WWE couldn’t afford to cancel SmackDown this week. Fans will be able to enjoy the show on Friday, but they will have to watch it on television from home.
Wrestling Inc. reported that the statement released by WWE said that there will be no fans in attendance at the Performance Center. The only people who will be in attendance for Friday Night SmackDown will be “essential personnel.”
There is still the possibility that WWE could allow fans to be in attendance depending on how things go up to the start of the show. If they do, they would likely announce it to the locals in Orlando and sell tickets at the door or allow them into the show for free.
John Cena is scheduled to return and address “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown. The returns of both Paige and Jeff Hardy are also scheduled, but not much else has been revealed about the content of the show. WWE did not want to disappoint the fans in Michigan, but the show had to be moved to the Performance Center for the safety of all involved, due to the coronavirus.