Fox’s “Friday Night SmackDown” is being moved from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. There will be no live audience, “only essential personnel” in attendance, a WWE spokesperson told TheWrap.
“‘Friday Night SmackDown’ on March 13 will air live as regularly scheduled and emanate from WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida with only essential personnel in attendance,” WWE said in a statement. “The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan.”
WWE had big plans for Friday’s “SmackDown,” including the return of John Cena. Plus: Paige is planning to confront Bayley, and Jeff Hardy is set to return.
As TheWrap exclusively reported, next Friday’s “SmackDown” is slated to mark the debut of WWE’s newest signing, former NFL star Rob Gronkowski.
The WWE Performance Center (The WWE PC) opened in July 2013. It serves as the official training ground for WWE and NXT, and also houses sports science and medical facilities.
At the time of this writing, WrestleMania 36 is still scheduled for April 5 in Tampa, Florida. That could change, however, as the Tampa City Council plans to meet again next Thursday to discuss options — unless WWE postpones the event first, that is.
“SmackDown” airs Fridays on Fox beginning at 8/7c.