This year, Christmas Day falls on a Friday – coincidentally the same day Friday Night SmackDown would usually air live. However, we are told WWE is not planning a live show on Christmas Day, thus talent will not be expected to travel and work on the 25th of December. The show, as of now, is scheduled to air on the 25th of December.
While WWE has gone live in the past on Christmas Day – back in 2017 – and even invited Superstars to bring their families along to celebrate the day WWE-style, that will not be the case this year – with the show being pre-recorded prior to broadcast. There is no confirmation on a plan yet for exactly when the show will be recorded, but we’re told it’s likely to be either the week before, on the same day as the live show on the 18th, or some time in between then and Christmas Day.
The obvious disadvantage of pre-recording shows is that spoilers are likely to get out. However, if a major event, such as a title change, takes place on the show, it might encourage viewers to tune in – such as when WWE would previously record their UK shows a few hours in advance, and even cleverly issue a “spoiler” on WWE.com before the show.
That being said, with the ThunderDome allowing fans to virtually watch the show, it also allows for ease of screencapping, whereas before spoilers would be limited to fan photos and footage. The advantage of the ThunderDome, however, would also be that WWE may not utilise a live crowd. Having the ability to use pre-recorded fan footage – as we’ve seen as part of the Capitol Wrestling Center – and pre-recorded audio would also be at their discretion if WWE so chose to do so, which would minimise the risk of any spoilers being leaked, something you couldn’t mitigate against at a live taping.
There is no word yet as to whether the New Year’s Day episode will take place live.
We will keep you updated with more information as and when we get it, however the next update may be if fans are invited to be part of the ThunderDome for the Christmas Day edition of SmackDown