WWE's Friday Night SmackDown will look very different this week. The company announced on Thursday that the show, which was originally scheduled to take place in Detroit, has been canceled and will now be held inside the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. The move was reported on Wednesday despite WWE releasing a statement saying the show in Detroit was still on.
"Friday Night SmackDown on March 13 will air live as regularly scheduled and emanate from WWE's training facility in Orlando, FL, with only essential personnel in attendance," the new statement read. "The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan."
With the news making its way across social media, fans had a lot to say about the move that left many suggesting ideas to work around pandemic precautions involving coronavirus.
"If you have the Smackdown roster there tomorrow then just tape 3 episodes leading to Mania and you can send everyone home to be safe. See what the situation is after that," one fan on Twitter wrote.
"Let's break that Performance Center attendance record at Wrestlemania," another fan wrote.
"It's the right thing to do in terms of not exposing fans to the risks of a live event," another fan added.
With the cancellation of Friday Night SmackDown in Detroit, what will happen with WrestleMania which is WWE's biggest event of the year? As of now, WrestleMania 36 is still a go and it's scheduled to take place on April 5.
"The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay," WWE's initial statement on the virus possibly canceling WrestleMania read per ComicBook.com. "We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events."0comments
Vince McMahon met with Tampa city officials on Thursday to talk about canceling the event. It will be a week before a final decision is made.
"We know that right now WrestleMania is out about three weeks, and we came to the conclusion [that] right now we don't want to pull that plug," Hillsborough County district commissioner Les Miller said. "However, we wanted to give it at least a week to see what was going to happen, if the WWE was going to do anything at all. And if that don't, at that point I would suggest we do bring this body back together in an emergency meeting to discuss what we do at that point in time."