WWE will reportedly not be airing live episodes of SmackDown on the last two Fridays of 2021.
Per Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE is set to air a ‘year in review’ episode of SmackDown on New Year’s Eve on FS1. WWE originally planned to air a live SmackDown show from the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on New Year’s Eve, but that was later removed from the schedule.
WWE management (Nick Khan, Vince McMahon, and Kevin Dunn) decided not to air a regular episode on FS1, since the show would do a lower rating, as it takes place on a holiday, along with FS1 being available in fewer homes than FOX.
As for the Christmas Eve show, WWE will be taping the show after the December 17 episode in Chicago, so fans in attendance will see the live episode for December 17, as well as the taped episode for December 24.
WWE aired a taped episode of SmackDown on Christmas Day last year, which saw Big E defeat Sami Zayn to become the Intercontinental Champion.