ORLANDO, Fla. – World Wrestling Entertainment has officially joined the list of groups and organizations that have decided to host events without a live audience amid coronavirus concerns.
WWE announced Thursday that it would move SmackDown and Monday Night Raw. SmackDown which was scheduled to be held at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, to its Orlando Performance Center. Monday Night Raw was scheduled to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The show, however, will be performed without a cheering crowd.
Friday Night SmackDown will air live Friday as regularly scheduled. Monday Night Raw will air live Monday as regularly scheduled.
Monday Night Raw Proceeds With No Live Audience— WWE (@WWE) March 13, 2020
This Monday night, Raw 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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. pic.twitter.com/hjYwoQHDw6
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
According to WWE, only essential personnel will be in attendance during the match up.
According to CNN, wrestling superstars such as John Cena, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Jeff Hardy were billed as featured guests at this week’s event. Another big-name wrestler, Paige, was also set to make her return to confront the current SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley.
WWE is the latest sports venue to make changes as the COVID-19 virus sweeps the nation.
Earlier this week, the NBA and NHL both suspended the remainder of their sport’s seasons. The NCAA canceled March Madness and NASCAR said that it would hold two of its upcoming races without fans.