Almost all major sporting events in the United States have suspended play due to the coronavirus crisis – from the NBA to the NHL at the MLS to NASCAR – but WWE has chosen to move the SmackDown episode on Friday from Little Caesars Detroit Arena at WWE Performance. Downtown Orlando, making a surreal show.
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 14, 2023
How performance center was transformed?
The Performance Center has been transformed into a small WWE arena, complete with video screens, an entrance ramp, an announcement table, and (empty) seats. In the open show, the return of WWE legend Jeff Hardy was announced, along with the appearance of John Cena. Within weeks of WrestleMania 36 taking place in Tampa, WWE made every effort to continue its activities as usual.
— WWE (@WWE) March 14, 2023
Sasha and Bayley were the first one to appear:
Sasha Banks and Bayley were the first WWE stars to appear and make a formal entrance despite the circumstances, I make a gesture towards a non-existent audience.
WWE announced Friday that the next episode of Raw in “3/16 Days”, which includes the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin, will also take place at the Performance Center.
WWE will no doubt face criticism for organizing any event, even smaller than the Performance Center’s SmackDown, but many fans have appreciated the diversion.