We’ve heard the rumors and reports about WWE’s plans to make television shows more “must-see” with their move out of the Performance Center later this week. Now we’ve got official word, and some details about their plans.
Starting with Fri., Aug. 21’s SmackDown, the company is turning Orlando’s Amway Center into WWE Thunderdome!
No, really. Here’s the announcement, which includes information on how you can register to be one of the fans shown on giant screens in the building (the website linked is currently just a placeholder), and a heads up that they might make you nauseous with rapid cuts to cameras flying around above the ring.
WWE ThunderDome, featuring a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras, will take WWE fans’ viewing experience to an unprecedented level starting this Friday, Aug. 21 on FOX, kicking off SummerSlam Weekend.
“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,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Vice President, Television Production. “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.”
With the debut of WWE ThunderDome, WWE will take residency at Amway Center in Orlando and virtually bring fans into the arena via live video on massive LED boards, in conjunction with The Famous Group and its proprietary technology, for every Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and WWE pay-per-view event. Starting tonight, fans can register for their virtual seat to be part of upcoming shows via www.WWEThunderDome.com or at WWE’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.
“As WWE takes residency at the world-class Amway Center, we have reimagined our live event experience for today’s environment,” said Brian Flinn, WWE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. “In partnership with The Famous Group, we will virtually bring our fans back into the show and recreate the interactive in-arena atmosphere that has been a staple of WWE events for decades.”
WWE Event Schedule for August:
- 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 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.
That certainly sounds like... something. It’ll be different, and grab some attention. Question is, will what is happening within the WWE Thunderdome keep the interest of fans who tune in to check out the bells & whistles?
With all non-NXT shows taking place at Amway Center “for the foreseeable future,” we’ll soon find out.