Big E Reflects on Wrestling Without a Crowd: Recalling the Unusual Times

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On a recent edition of the “Sarah O’Connell Show,” Big E looked back on wrestling during the COVID-19 pandemic when there were no fans in attendance. He said,

“[The atmosphere was] very weird. Really the foundation of our industry, of our business, is really about crowd interaction. You can have an hour match, but if no one is making a sound, if they’re sitting on their hands, you failed. That’s always what we have been taught as pro wrestlers.

“It’s about engaging the crowd, it’s about making them cheer. It’s about making them boo. Now, we’re in this environment where that’s not possible. We just have screens in front of us, and now you’re also worried about COVID, which is ravaging the world. It was a very interesting time.”

Big E added that he and other Superstars worked hard to compensate for the lack of crowd by coming up with unique ideas that made use of the unique atmosphere.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Big E captured his second Intercontinental Championship by dethroning Sami Zayn on the Christmas Day 2020 edition of WWE SmackDown.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on various industries, and professional wrestling is no exception. With restrictions on large gatherings and the need for social distancing, wrestling promotions were forced to adapt to a new environment where there were no fans in attendance. WWE Superstar Big E recently shared his thoughts on this unique situation during an interview on the “Sarah O’Connell Show.”

Big E emphasized the importance of crowd interaction in the wrestling industry. He explained that engaging the crowd, eliciting cheers or boos, is a fundamental aspect of the business. However, with no live audience present, wrestlers had to find new ways to create an atmosphere and connect with viewers.

Describing the experience as “very weird,” Big E highlighted the challenges of performing without the energy and feedback from a live crowd. Instead of hearing the roar of the fans, wrestlers were faced with screens displaying virtual audiences. Moreover, they had to deal with the added concern of COVID-19, which was ravaging the world at the time.

Despite these obstacles, Big E and his fellow Superstars rose to the occasion by coming up with innovative ideas to compensate for the absence of a live audience. They had to rely on their own creativity and adaptability to make the most out of the unique atmosphere.

One example of Big E’s success during this period was his victory over Sami Zayn on the Christmas Day 2020 edition of WWE SmackDown, where he captured his second Intercontinental Championship. This achievement demonstrated his ability to thrive even in challenging circumstances.

The pandemic forced the wrestling industry to think outside the box and explore new ways of delivering entertainment. Promotions like WWE introduced virtual fan screens and enhanced production values to create a more engaging viewing experience for fans at home. While it couldn’t fully replicate the excitement of a live audience, it provided a temporary solution during these unprecedented times.

As the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, wrestling promotions are slowly reintroducing live audiences to their events. The return of fans brings back the electric atmosphere that has been sorely missed. Wrestlers can once again feed off the energy of the crowd and create memorable moments that resonate with fans.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a challenging period for the wrestling industry, but it also showcased the resilience and adaptability of its performers. Big E’s reflections on wrestling without fans shed light on the unique circumstances they faced and the efforts they made to overcome them. As the industry moves forward, it will undoubtedly learn from this experience and continue to evolve, ensuring that the connection between wrestlers and fans remains strong, regardless of the challenges that may arise.