WWE have finally confirmed what has been an open secret for some time. Starting with the 21st August SmackDown, WWE will be moving their TV production to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
They will also be launching a new production style which they are calling the WWE Thunderdome.
This grand branding will include pyro, drone cameras, lasers, new graphics and video boards. It is their attempt to inject some excitement and energy into their product that has been sorely lacking during their months long residency at their own Performance Center location.
Fans will also be given the chance to appear on the video boards live in the arena by applying on WWE’s website.
The full release is posted on WWE.com. Executive Vice President of TV Production said:
“WWE has a long history of producing the greatest live spectacles in sports and entertainment, yet nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome. This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere and generate more excitement amongst the millions of fans watching our programming around the world.”
The schedule so far announced by WWE is as follows:
- Friday, August 21 – Friday Night SmackDown®, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
- Saturday, August 22 – NXT TakeOver XXX, Full Sail Live, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
- Sunday, August 23 – SummerSlam, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
- Monday, August 24 – Monday Night Raw, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network
- Wednesday, August 26 – NXT, Full Sail Live, 8 pm ET on USA Network
- Friday, August 28 – Friday Night SmackDown, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on FOX
- Sunday, August 30 – Payback, Amway Center, 7 pm ET on WWE Network
- Monday, August 31 – Monday Night Raw, Amway Center, 8 pm ET on USA Network
WWE’s official release also covered the health and safety protocols surrounding their new production style. It very much sounds like the NXT trainees acting as proxy fans are a thing of the past.
“WWE’s Amway Center residency will continue for the foreseeable future and Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view programming will be produced on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance. WWE will continue to administer its health and safety protocols for talent, crew and employees in conjunction with each production, including PCR testing for COVID-19, social distancing and wearing masks”