WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon has confirmed that a new SmackDown set will be revealed this Friday night.
It was reported earlier that new RAW and SmackDown sets were being worked on, and that they would be revealed when the company returned to the road for touring. McMahon spoke with Forbes and confirmed that a new set design for SmackDown will be used this Friday when SmackDown airs live from the Toyota Center in Houston.
It was noted that the new WWE sets will utilize more digital and augmented reality integrations. Superstar entrances will be more dynamic and captivating thanks to a higher-resolution set used for the Trons. This will result in more of a theatrical presentation.
The ThunderDome era during the COVID-19 pandemic provided WWE with the chance to experiment with various technologies, including pyrotechnics, lasers, augmented reality and virtual reality. WWE plans to further incorporate those technologies into their production moving forward.
“We’ve learned a lot during this time utilizing these different techniques and we’re really ready to merge the physical and virtual worlds in ways we never have done before,” Stephanie said. “We’re always looking to be slightly ahead of the curve. From a technology standpoint I think that we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. While we were utilizing some of these techniques, I think the key learnings during Covid absolutely sped up the adoption of those technologies in this way.”
Friday’s SmackDown from Houston will be the go-home show for Sunday’s Money In the Bank pay-per-view. Matches announced as of this writing are Carmella vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, with the title on the line, and a Fatal 4 Way with the blue brand Men’s MITB Ladder Match competitors – Big E vs. Seth Rollins vs. King Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens. There is also reports surfacing that John Cena will make his long anticipated return this Friday night. Becky Lynch is also reportedly set to return this weekend at the Money In The Bank PPV.