Wrestling Without A Live Audience Is Just Weird

I have been a professional wrestling fan since practically birth. I was born two years before the WWE’s first WrestleMania, and spent my early years watching the titans of the Golden Era. The legendary lineup of Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker. However, the late-’90s Attitude Era had the biggest impact on me. The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and D-Generation X were my high school inspirations, for better or worse. I stayed throughout the 2000s and most of the 2010s, skipping a few Raws and Smackdowns here and there.

2019 brought the WWE its biggest competition with the formation of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). However, a bigger threat came to both organizations and all live sporting/entertainment events in the form of COVID-19. Due to the spread of the virus, WWE and AEW have eliminated the live audience element of their weekly shows. Storylines are still in effect, matches are still going on, but the only people in attendance are those running the cameras and equipment. I give them credit for continuing their craft for the millions (AND MILLIONS… sorry, I couldn’t help it) at home.

With that said, seeing wrestlers perform without a live crowd is just… weird.

Related – WWE WrestleMania 36 Will Be a Two-Night Event Hosted By Rob Gronkowski

Don’t get me wrong. The steps both organizations have taken regarding the spreading the coronavirus are necessary. Thousands of people shoulder-to-shoulder, screaming, cheering, and high-fiving would be a haven for the virus. It’s a smart move that still allows each program to continue for the television audience.

However, along with the storylines and in-ring action, the crowd reaction is such a big part of professional wrestling. The loud cheers for the loved faces. The waves of boos for the detested heels. The reactions when a death-defying move is performed or a superstar hits their trademark move. Not only does it add to the excitement, but it’s also a high the superstars feed off of. The crowd reaction fuels a superstar’s performance. It’s a high that wrestlers are addicted to. Now, with an empty arena, the odd silence stands out between the mic’d up promos and slamming of bodies on the canvas. It reminds me of my early days in backyard wrestling… I mean, I have never done that before in my life. Ever. Not once.

I send enormous amounts of praise to these superstars performing in empty arenas. Even without the crowd, they perform at the top of their game, both on the microphone and in the ring. Performing at your best without the cheers and boos shows a dedication to the craft, and these men and women are nailing it. They have the devotion and discipline to maintain this for as long as the stay-at-home order lasts, and I applaud them for it.

Here’s hoping we as a society get a handle of COVID-19 in a precise and scientific manner. The better we are at staying at home, self-quarantining, and treating, the closer we’ll get to returning to enjoying the group activities we love—like screaming our asses off at intense, in-ring sports entertainment.

If ya smeeeelllllllllllllllll… what Esteves is cookin’!

LRM Online contributor and active Army soldier Kyle Malone needs your help. CLICK HERE to lend a hand to the cause!


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