The coronavirus pandemic has been unprecedented and it has led to some unprecedented results. So much so, news and updates have changed by the minute in what has truly been a whirlwind 24 hours. From Thursday morning to Thursday evening, WWE went from holding SmackDown as planned in Detroit to announcing they’d be moving the show to the Performance Center in Orlando.
This decision comes after WWE officials met with leadership in Tampa Bay regarding the fate of WrestleMania 36. It was decided at today’s meeting that a decision would be held off for a week given the event is not scheduled to take place until April. But the luxury to wait was not one that WWE had for Friday’s event as on Wednesday morning, Michigan confirmed its first two positive cases of coronavirus, both of which are in the Metro Detroit area. This announced was followed up by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer advising residents against attending gatherings and events of over 100 people in order to limit community spread of the virus.
In a statement released Thursday, WWE initially said:
“WWE has not cancelled Friday Night SmackDown in Detroit, however, based on the current situation, we are putting contingency plans in place in the event that upcoming WWE shows are cancelled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues.”
This was followed up by an announcement just moments ago, indicating that SmackDown would go on as scheduled, just from the Performance Center and not Detroit’s Little Ceasar’s Arena:
“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. The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan.”
As we continue to get updates on how the coronavirus will affect WWE and other wrestling companies, stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.