The WWE SmackDown TV tapings planned for today at the WWE Performance Center have reportedly been canceled.
Gary Cassidy first revealed the cancellation on Twitter and noted that WWE officials are apparently still waiting on COVID-19 test results for some of the SmackDown Superstars, as well as the friends and family who were invited to appear as fans in the crowd. The wait for the test results and the loaded tapings schedule are likely what led to the SmackDown tapings being canceled for today.
There’s no word yet on the other tapings planned for today at the Performance Center. WWE had plans to tape next week’s RAW, next week’s RAW Talk, next week’s WWE Main Event, next week’s SmackDown episode and two WWE 205 Live episodes, one for this week and one for next Friday. They were then to travel to Full Sail University to tape tonight’s WWE NXT episode, which may air live on the USA Network, and next week’s NXT episode.
Talent were told that they will be needed to tape on the afternoon of Friday, June 26, according to PWInsider. This means that next week’s SmackDown will be taped just a few hours before it airs on FOX.
As noted, the Performance Center tapings were scheduled to begin at 11am ET today but PWInsider reported that they were more than 40 minutes behind schedule and still not active. There were some talents and staff waiting outside of the building for their COVID-19 test results to come back, and they were not being allowed into the Performance Center until they were cleared. Several people described it as a very frustrating morning. Now that at least part of the tapings have been canceled, that’s likely adding to the frustration.
Before the cancellation was made today, WWE made plans to tape from Friday, June 29 through Wednesday, July 1. They then plan to return for more tapings on Monday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 15, and then air the Extreme Rules pay-per-view live from the Performance Center on July 19.
On a related note, PWInsider confirmed that the “friends and family” of employees were invited back for today’s tapings.
WWE nixed Tuesday’s tapings so they could administer the COVID-19 tests to employees after a WWE NXT developmental trainee recently tested positive. Today’s tapings were originally looking to be the longest in company history, but now that has changed.
Stay tuned for updates.