WWE released a statement late Wednesday night refuting a report from earlier in the evening regarding this week's Friday Night SmackDown being canceled. An initial report from PWInsider stated that the episode, scheduled to take place in Detroit, had been scrapped due to concerns regarding coronavirus and would take place inside the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. The company later released a statement to Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin, which read, "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."
Satin later followed up saying that moving future episodes of WWE television to the Performance Center are not off the table. This week's NXT took place at the PC, but it was because its normal home at Full Sail University was booked for a separate event.
According to sources, there HAVE been discussions this evening regarding running the show from the PC as rumored – similar to tonight’s episode of NXT which was done there for different reasons – and the move could still happen.
However, the decision has not been finalized yet.— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) March 12, 2020
The company released a statement last week saying it had no intentions of canceling WrestleMania 36 on April 5 despite the state of Florida being in a state of emergency because of the virus. Tampa city officials are expected to meet on Thursday to consider canceling major upcoming events, including WrestleMania.
"The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay," WWE's initial statement on the virus possibly canceling WrestleMania read. "We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events."
So far, WWE has confirmed that John Cena will appear on Friday's episode to respond to Bray Wyatt's WrestleMania challenge, Paige will step up to SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Jeff Hardy will return after missing nearly a full year of action due to a leg injury and rehab.