Originally, WWE had plans to hold a set of TV tapings on August 4th in order to tape two episodes of SmackDown with an episode airing on August 7th and another on August 14th. However, WWE canceled the second taping at the last moment.
Thus, WWE had to tape the second episode on August 13th. Around this time, there had been reports of there being a chaotic atmosphere at the tapings as Vince McMahon was changing the script among other things.
Mike Johnson noted on PWInsider Elite that the reason for WWE canceling the second taping was due to positive COVID-19 cases. As of this writing, there’s no word yet on how many cases, or who tested positive for the virus.
Johnson said, “They were supposed to tape two SmackDown episodes last week, and I’ve been told by 3 different sources that the second SmackDown taping got canceled at the last second because they had more positives.”
As noted, WWE plans to resume airing its television shows live once again starting with the August 21st episode of SmackDown. Raw will go live on August 24th, which will be the post-SummerSlam episode of the red brand.
WWE’s plans to tape in a larger Amway Center in Orlando beginning at SummerSlam should alleviate some COVD-19 concerns since they will no longer have to worry about having so many people packed into the smaller Performance Center.
H/T to Heel by Nature for the transcription