Things to Do

WWE Friday Night SmackDown Is Coming to Downtown Phoenix in August

Roman Reigns, the WWE's current Universal Champion (and "Head of the Table").
Roman Reigns, the WWE's current Universal Champion (and "Head of the Table"). WWE
Professional wrestling fans of the Valley won’t have to wait much longer to see some in-ring action in person as the WWE is bringing Friday Night SmackDown, one of its biggest weekly television programs, to downtown Phoenix this summer.

An episode of the show, which currently airs on FOX, is set to take place at Phoenix Suns Arena on Friday, August 20, with a live crowd, according to the WWE’s website.

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, June 11, via Ticketmaster. No prices have been announced. Superstars Rey Mysterio, Sasha Banks, current SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, and current Universal Champion Roman Reigns are currently scheduled to appear.

It’s the first time the company has brought one of its shows to the Valley in 18 months and is part of a 25-city tour marking the WWE’s return to putting on live events with audiences.

Last month, the company announced its resuming live events in arenas across the U.S. starting in mid-July after more than a year. In March 2020, the WWE started broadcasting its shows and pay-per-views from its training center in Orlando before moving to nearby arenas and stadiums (where it set up a bubble-like venue called the “ThunderDome” featuring almost 1,000 LED boards where fans could attend virtually) a few months later.

In April, the WWE’s biggest event of the year, WrestleMania, took place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and hosted a limited crowd.

Friday Night Smackdown’s visit to Phoenix in late August will happen the day before SummerSlam, the WWE’s second-biggest pay-per-view of the year, which is reportedly taking place on Saturday, August 21, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.