The article speaks of the location for the event at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Speicher, named after the late Scott Speicher who was a U.S. Navy pilot shot down during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Since the start of the war, the soccer stadium has been damaged by U.S. bomb blasts. The bleachers are filled with rumble and exposed steel peeks can be seen going through concrete.
Many troops thought it was an odd place to stage a show, but WWE officials had little time to do a site survey and understood they would have to make do with whatever they found there if they wanted to put on the show. The article notes that despite the overall excitement of doing the SmackDown telecast, all members of the WWE team must carry a helmet and Kevlar flak jacket everywhere. In the event a rocket attack takes place, the WWE stars have been instructed to retreat to a SCUD bunker. After an assault ends, members of the WWE team have been assured the show will go on.
The set for the event will featured two tanks, a surface to air missle, heavy equipment truck and cargo carriers that have all been placed within camera range. Before their respective matches, each superstar will come out from a large military tent. WWE’s production coordinator Jason Robinson reportedly had less than 48 hours to transform the stadium into a SmackDown atmosphere with help from military volunteers. Robinson noted, “Everything you see was made on the spot.”
The article is a great read and contains additional information regarding insurgent trying to sneak inside the compound, why the troops will remain in combat mode during the event and the WWE production crew placing an American flag across a very important site.
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?