It's official, WWE SmackDown will air live from the Performance Center on Friday, Mar. 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
WWE put out the following statement (via Pro Wrestling Sheet) on the matter:
“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.”
Friday Night SmackDown Proceeds With No Live Audience— WWE (@WWE) March 12, 2020
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 event was originally scheduled in Detroit, MI. pic.twitter.com/o9mR2SNhAj
The show will still air at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
It was originally reported on Wednesday night that the show would be moving from Detroit to the Performance Center, but WWE quickly put out a statement saying nothing had changed with the location, though contingency plans were being put in place. The decision to move the show was officially made on Thursday afternoon.
Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp noted on the Wednesday Night Wars podcast that WWE is considering this move for several future shows.
Friday's episode of WWE SmackDown is scheduled to be headlined by an appearance by John Cena, which was announced on Wednesday evening. Jeff Hardy is also set to return on WWE SmackDown and Paige will return as well to confront Bayley.
Fightful will have live coverage of SmackDown beginning at 8 p.m. ET.