With the coronavirus pandemic wiping out large gatherings, WWE has kept the show rolling, holding events at the Performance Center with no live audience.
Wrestlers have said many times how they feed off the energy of the crowd, using that as an adrenaline boost to get them through matches and segments. But with no live crowd, the energy is understandably down. Despite the circumstances, WWE superstars have done some of the best mic work in recent memory, while matches have been less than memorable.
"I would say cut a promo, You don’t have crowd reaction to play off of. A promo, when you’re having a conversation with the crowd, it really feels like you are talking to somebody. It feels as though they are part of the conversation. If you don’t have that, there’s a lot of pressure. And also not having the ability to do multiple takes. Monday Night Raw is live, so that’s a one-take promo. That’s a one-take monologue. I don’t get the opportunity to cut-and-paste that thing together. It’s not like a movie. Wrestling, on the other hand, is fluid. It’s in the ring and it’s moving around. There’s a lot of you can do. There are a lot of changes you can make. A promo is nerve-wracking. You can hear everything. There’s no audience to drown anything out. You can hear cameramen shuffling. You hear everybody whispering in the back. It’s really eerie in a way," he said.
Rollins is set to take on Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 36, likely finishing a feud that has been building since late 2019. But with no fans, Rollins was asked about wrestling on the grandest stage of them all in an empty Performance Center.
"This is as big as a curveball that you can be thrown this time of year," he said. "I think we’re all trying to make the best of it. I think we have a different mindset as performers. We’re all gonna go out there and pretend as if there were 80,000 people filling the Performance Center the way that it would be at Raymond James Stadium. The people who are paying to watch WrestleMania at home don’t deserve any less of a show because they’re not there live. We are gonna do our best to make this WrestleMania feel as WrestleMania-ish as we can."
Fightful will have live coverage of both nights of WrestleMania 36 beginning on Saturday, April 4. Fans can check out the current lineup for the event by clicking here.