WWE news: NXT wrestlers used as 'socially distant' crowd to create better atmosphere

Live crowds returned to WWE

WWE brought back fans for this week’s RAW… sort of. 

For the first time since mid-March, there was an audience at ringside in the form of developmental wrestlers. 

It was defined on the company’s social media channels as a ‘properly socially-distanced’ crowd, who were standing two meters apart and separated from the ring by plexiglass. 

Under normal circumstances, everybody in the crowd would be sitting down at ringside. 

But this isn’t a normal circumstance, of course. Instead, the ‘fans’ had to stand for the entire show. 

It’s reported that WWE taped multiple shows on Monday, so those watching had to stand up for at least five hours. Brutal. 

But with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, this is the best we’re going to get to a ‘live audience’.

Check out a video and some images below: 

Fans were behind glass to separate them from the ramp
Fans returned to WWE on Monday

Having wrestlers at ringside certainly seemed to improve this week’s RAW. There’s now a real atmosphere and it does seem to make the matches more lively.

Vince McMahon made the decision to bring in NXT wrestlers as a response to declining ratings. 

Empty arena shows have been driving viewers away, so it will be interesting to see if the ‘crowd’ makes any difference to this week’s viewership. 

The fans were behind glass

The fans in attendance were treated to an exciting opening match between Andrade and Apollo Crews for the United States Championship. 

In what came as quite a shock, Crews secured victory to capture the title – his first-ever in WWE. 

That, of course, is a moment that deserves a big reaction and those present at ringside did well to add to the atmosphere. 

Fans were socially distancing

It may be some time before we see WWE shows in front of thousands of people but for now, having just a small number watching, cheering and booing could make a big difference. 

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