It has not been a good week for WWE, and with the multiple positive COVID-19 cases coming out of the Performance Center in Orlando, tomorrow's edition of SmackDown on FOX has been in flux. With several performers unable to be there as originally planned, WWE writers have been reworking the show. Due to this, the company has now announced that SmackDown will feature a special "Tribute to The Undertaker," largely due to the fact that there will be extra time to fill. This was not originally part of the plan for this week's broadcast.
WWE made the announcement on Thursday night with a social media posting and article on WWE.com. The article notes:
With the WWE Universe still buzzing over the final chapter of WWE Network’s groundbreaking documentary Undertaker: The Last Ride, SmackDown will feature a special “Tribute To The Undertaker” this Friday night.
As part of the special recognition, the astonishing Boneyard Match between The Deadman and AJ Styles will air on television for the first time. As Superstars, legends, celebrities and fans have expressed their support for the sports-entertainment icon, the blue brand now gets to share the same message: Thank you, Taker.
Join SmackDown in honoring The Undertaker and much more in another action-packed Friday night on FOX at 8/7 C.
Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE broadcasts were leaning heavily on archival content during their first-run shows, with several matches shown from their library. They are replicating that here by showing the Boneyard Match from WrestleMania between Taker and Styles, a match that The Undertaker has now said may have been the final bout of his career.
The Boneyard Match was heavily praised by fans and critics alike following WrestleMania 36 this year, and the efforts that went into making the match a success were the focus of the final episode of WWE Network's The Last Ride documentary series that focused on The Undertaker over the last several weeks.
What's your favorite memory of The Undertaker? Let us know in the comments section below. While you're at it, give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all things WWE and AEW.