The ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando is WWE’s new home for RAW, SmackDown and PPV tapings as the company prepares to entertain fans with an immersive experience amidst the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
WWE has been busy testing the operations of the ThunderDome ahead of the grand unveiling this Friday night on SmackDown. The billion-dollar promotion is fine-tuning everything to ensure the WWE Universe gets the best possible experience right from the comfort of their home.
According to Fightful Select, WWE’s testing sessions included Superstars walking out to different entrance music and sweating it out in the ring.
Jake Atlas came out to Braun Strowman’s theme while Lucha House Party’s music accompanied Tehuti Miles to the ring. Then Atlas defeated Miles in a singles match.
“Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro come out to Sasha Banks’ music. Jessi Kamea and Indi Hartwell are out to Asuka’s. There are no boilerplates for names on these intros.”
The main event talents weren’t required to show up at those sessions. Sheamus and AJ Styles’ entrances were used “with stand-ins recreating them, they had full music and pyro.” WWE created the entrances of several other Superstars during the training session as well.
Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme was tested by Ridge Holland while Mansoor walked out to The New Day’s theme. Then Mansoor scored a victory over Holland.
“The refs can be heard instructing people to grab holds, stay where they are, etc, and timing the match.”
WWE has also set up a series of monitors and duplicated the test shots on multiple screens. The entire testing session took place on Wednesday afternoon. The company is keeping everything a “top secret” and has warned employees that they will lose their jobs if any photos of the ThunderDome leak on social media.
The ThunderDome features a state-of-the-art set, 1000 LED boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras for a next-gen experience in sports entertainment.