To accommodate the mandated social distancing due to the Coronavirus outbreak, WWE has been performing shows without an audience live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Now, Monday Night Raw announcer, Mike Rome, is weighing in on what that experience is like for him personally.
Speaking exclusively with Chris Van Vliet, Rome spoke openly about being glad that WWE is continuing on with its programming but did admit to it feeling odd without an audience, saying that there were times where he found himself wanting to make up for the crowd noise.
“The thing that people I think forget is that we are surrounded by each other so much that we are really a family. You know, you see everybody down to the camera, guys to the, you know, catering to whoever we traveled together, like from the highest to the lowest. And you see all those people all the time. So at least when you're in a place like that, that's unfamiliar, when you're doing something different, at least you're around your family. That's what it feels like,” Rome began. “Going to the P.C. was odd because they did transform most of it, but then you also have that WWE Performance Center thing on the other side. I kept looking up like, 'Oh, yeah! We're in the Performance Center.' There's no audience. I mean, for me, it was odd during the matches because I want to like make up for the noise. I want to sit in the corner and like make the noise and do all the stuff because I feel bad like I've been on the other side, it would be like me getting into a thing to host or doing an Indiana Jones show [at Disney] or a show that needs interaction, and not having that. It's definitely different. So, it's weird, but it's so cool to see these guys perform these promos and these epic things that they're not used to and step outside their comfort zone and come together to put something out there for people. So I think everybody was like a little somber and trying to figure things out. But once we got rolling, it was just like being back on Monday somewhere else, just without the audience.”
Continuing on, Chris said as a fan, he was grateful for wrestling continuing on through this uncertain time where many other things in life are coming to a halt for the time being. Rome shared this sentiment and added that moving forward, WWE will make changes to enhance the quality of the events as they continue to broadcast from the WWE Performance Center.
“The thing is, it's like when you're taking something that you're used to doing a certain way for so long and now you have to kind of change it. There wasn't a lot of time for us to kind of shift what was happening and how to make it,” he said. “So I think what they're going to see moving forward is going to be a lot cooler of a process because, you know, the first couple of the first two days they had, they didn't have time to turn it around. Now they've had time to kind of sit there, give something back to everybody to get their minds off of what's going on. And, you know, as long as we can, I'm 100 percent sure it's going to keep going.”
Even the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania 36, will be coming live from the WWE Performance Center without an audience. This year, however, it will be stretched across two nights. Night one will begin at 7 PM on Saturday, April 4, 2020, live on the WWE Network.
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