Opinion | WWE continues to entertain during pandemic


Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Three WWE wrestlers look out towards the crowd from inside the ring during a WWE event on April 7, 2014.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

Countless sports fans’ lives shattered a few weeks ago when major sports leagues like MLB, NBA and NHL decided to suspend or postpone their respective seasons due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, World Wrestling Entertainment continued its regularly scheduled programming, and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts.

Following social distancing guidelines, the popular wrestling franchise is currently holding their shows like “Monday Night Raw,” “Friday Night Smackdown” and “NXT” without a live audience from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. It’s nowhere near the experience of watching the matches surrounded by thousands of spectators on television, but it’s better than no wrestling at all. 

For the first live show taping without an audience on March 13, former champion and current company executive Paul Levesque (Triple H) opened the program, saying: “Sit back, relax, and if you can, forget about the world around you, and let us put a smile on your face.” The company has surely put a smile on this forever fan’s face.

Having watched both crowdless “Raw” and “Smackdown” tapings these last few weeks, I, and hopefully many other wrestling fans, am still quite entertained. Superstars like The Undertaker, John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge and Randy Orton have especially made the shows worth watching.

For the wrestlers, it must be quite strange performing in front of only commentators and cameramen. Even without fans, who are the heart and soul of the company, every wrestler has given everything they have to put on a great show night after night, all the greater amid these unprecedented times. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for the company.

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Nowadays, the shows mostly focus on superstars after last week’s Wrestlemania 36, the company’s flagship event of the year. Although “The Grandest Stage of Them All” didn’t take place in front of an audience, WWE did everything in their power to make it a memorable show. Though it was spread across a two-night period for social distancing and health safety, the company still used everything in their arsenal to give fans the entertainment they deserve, even having former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski host the “The Show of Shows.”

The famous entertainment adage, “the show must go on,” has always stuck with me, now reinforced, having played live shows on acoustic guitar back home and at the University. Now, that saying could not be any more relevant.

It’s strange to watch matches with less than ten people on screen at all times, but I applaud WWE for what they have done to accommodate during this confusing time. They know their entertainment value and that everything they do is for us, the fans. 

Thank you, WWE.

Noah is a sophomore in the College of Media.

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