The WWE experience as a viewer has been significantly different since mid-March last year. The COVID-19 pandemic forced all sporting events to change around the world, including professional wrestling.
WrestleMania 36 was aired from The Performance Center with no spectators in attendance and that was the new norm for the company up to this year's Show of Shows. The WWE moved it's weekly episodes of RAW and SmackDown, as well as it's pay-per-views to the ThunderDome, installing hundreds of monitors for fans to watch from their homes.
But another view of this, is how have the performers felt since this change? Seth Rollins recently spoke to Ryan Satin's Out of Character podcast, mentioning the delivery of his promos are much different when there's no fans in attendance.
“The ThunderDome has definitely allowed us to tell our stories a little bit cleaner in the sense that things are not as up-and-down as they would normally be,” said Rollins.
“Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m not sure. But I do miss the fans, the adrenaline and live interaction. That said, I still love being able to cut a promo and get all the through it without having to sid-eye the audience.”
The difference as a viewer to not having fans in some ways allows the product to be uninterrupted. In recent memory the crowd would shout chants such as "what" or "CM Punk" while a Superstar is trying to talk on the mic - this is something Rollins outlined as well. He said:
“It is nice to get a full fallout instead of being interrupted by CM Punk chants or something.”
However, Seth did mention how different pre-pandemic WWE was in relation to shows on TV and live events when fans could attend.
“I would go to non-televised events and the response was not what you would see on TV,” recalled Rollins.
“The crowds are totally different. If I was main eventing live events against Baron Corbin, the crowd was 100 percent behind me, chanting Burn it Down and Let’s Go Rollins, and then on TV, and more than half the crowd would be up in my throat.”
He also noted that the company would sometimes have to change storylines depending on how the crowd reacted. He said:
“It can be very confusing, and sometimes pushes our creative processes and directions to where we shouldn’t be going. But, that’s how it is. That’s how the business is now. You’ve got to adapt.”
Rollins goes face-to-face with Cesaro on night one of WrestleMania 37 on Saturday April 10th - with Seth looking to claim his seventh win at the PPV.News Now - Sport News