In a move that was expected starting Wednesday night, WWE has announced that Friday's edition of SmackDown on FOX will emanate from their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida instead of Detroit, Michigan's Little Caesars 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," WWE said. "The event was originally scheduled in Detroit, Michigan.”
It was reported on Wednesday night that the episode wouldn't be taking place in Detroit, leading WWE to release a statement denying that the show had been canceled but noting they were putting "contingency plans in place in the event that upcoming WWE shows are canceled by government officials, civil authorities and/or local venues."
Those contingency plans had to be created due to the coronavirus health crisis spreading around the world, causing events in all walks of life to be canceled or postponed. Further complicating this scenario were NBA players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz testing positive for the COVID-19 virus in the last 18 hours, less than a week after playing a road game in Detroit.
As the company continues its build for what they hope is this year's WrestleMania in Tampa, Florida, John Cena, Paige, and Jeff Hardy have all been announced for this week's SmackDown. Cena will further his WrestleMania angle with "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, while Paige will confront Bayley.
Coincidentally, this Wednesday's NXT on USA Network aired from the Performance Center as Full Sail University was unavailable for the week.