WWE unveiled a major change on Monday, announcing that all upcoming episodes of Friday Night SmackDown, SummerSlam and all other shows will take place at the WWE ThunderDome instead of the Performance Center in Orlando. This venue, which is actually the Amway Center in Orlando, will not feature fans due to COVID-19 regulations. However, virtual fans will help recreate the "in-arena atmosphere" while serving as the backdrop for the matches.
The first example of the ThunderDome took place on Friday night, and fans reacted in a variety of ways. Some expressed excitement after seeing themselves featured on the screen among other virtual faces. Other fans, however, took the opportunity to make jokes. They had some fun while referencing scenes from the Matrix trilogy, as well as popular Nintendo video games. One person put the ThunderDome footage next to 500 episodes of The Simpsons to show the similarities.
ThunderDome vs. 500 episodes of The Simpsons at the same time pic.twitter.com/dRuRjmSL4T— ToeJam & Earl (@toejamandearl) August 21, 2020
I thought they censored this guy in the ThunderDome but it’s just unfortunate turnbuckle placement pic.twitter.com/3KQYxiYqBR— Joe Gagne (@joegagne) August 22, 2020
Not a soul:August 22, 2020
thunderdome looks sick man pic.twitter.com/RwoGgGs5hd— Machine Gun Cass (@CadetCassJr) August 21, 2020
WWE Thunderdome Front Row: A Concept pic.twitter.com/nA0LYoziPj— 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗻𝗹𝗲𝗼𝗻 (@LeonOnWrestling) August 22, 2020
Thoughts of #Thunderdome visually amazing. Few do it better than WWE. Has some tweaks to make but overall good. Creative still sucked. A pig with make up is still a 🐖.— Ralph Valente (@RalphieV316) August 22, 2020
THE STATE OF THE THUNDERDOME pic.twitter.com/k7vKa4fCil— Will Mahoney (@HeelWillMahoney) August 20, 2020
THUNDERDOME GONNA BE AWESOME pic.twitter.com/NIwPOU92nz— Vinnie Massaro (@snoringelbow) August 21, 2020