The effects of the coronavirus are continuing to wreak havoc with WWE‘s live event schedule, and two big changes are happening this week. With Monday Night Raw getting ready to take place without an audience, a live event from the blue brand has been canceled and this week’s Friday Night SmackDown has been pulled from the schedule in New Orleans.
Last week, SmackDown was moved out of Detroit and to the WWE Performance Center to take place in an empty arena. A day later, WWE announced that this week’s Raw will be receiving the same treatment even with both Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker appearing on the show.
The official website of the Mobile Civic Center has revealed that the “WWE Road to WrestleMania” show on Thursday, March 19, has been canceled. Refunds are going to be available for all those who purchased tickets and a new return date has not been announced as of this time.
That event is a non-televised house show, and it wouldn’t have had a huge effect on anything. On Friday, though, SmackDown has been officially “postponed” with no make-up date as of yet for the fans in New Orleans.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, former NFL star Rob Gronkowski was rumored to make his WWE debut on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown. It has been said that he will be there with his friend Mojo Rawley of Raw, but no further details have been given.
One thing that has been confirmed for this week’s big show is a contract signing between Goldberg and Roman Reigns. The two are scheduled to battle it out over Goldberg’s WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 36, and they will sign on the dotted line this Friday.
WWE still has not said anything regarding the cancellation of Friday Night SmackDown, but the official website of the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans has made the call.
“Due to the recent developments with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the directive from Governor Jon Bel Edwards that there are to be no public gatherings larger than 50 people, all events scheduled through April 13th at the Smoothie King Center has been suspended. “
It is possible that WWE will move SmackDown to the WWE Performance Center again and film the show in front of no fans. One thing that is difficult to determine is if they’d have Gronk make his debut in front of no crowd, but all of that is speculation anyway and remains to be seen.
Friday Night SmackDown is expected to air this week with only two segments announced as of this time. It will definitely not take place from New Orleans and the fans in Mobile, Alabama won’t have their live event on Thursday night either. WWE is scrambling a bit to figure things out, but the coronavirus keeps causing plenty of problems with all of their plans.