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Did the ‘crowd’ make Raw a better show?

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WWE.com

Last night (May 25), we got our first taste of WWE’s version of using wrestlers as fans at television tapings during the pandemic.

Raw gave us a mix of recognizable NXT talent and Performance Center roster members most of us are unfamiliar with, behind plexiglass, spaced out around the ring with nary a chair in site. They wore black from the waist down, and a variety of WWE Shop t-shirts. They cheered the faces and booed the heels.

Did it make for a more enjoyable three hour wrestling show?

For me, the jury’s still out. At first I found them more distracting than anything else - mostly as I wondering how annoying & uncomfortable it must be to stand there all day. Seriously, what’s the harm in giving them something to sit on, at least during breaks (Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp tweeted that they weren’t allowed to sit and stood almost all day)? And I guess it’s the hockey fan in me, but I was anxiously awaiting the first face smooshed against the plexiglass.

That’s the novelty factor, though. If this is the new normal as reports suggest, I’ll get used to those things, and the set-up and “fans” will become the background noise WWE wants them to be.

It definitely adds to certain moments, like Apollo Crews’ United States title win, or Nikki Cross’ emotional babyface promo.

At the end of the day, however, I don’t think it makes a major difference. It’s a more engaging experience for those of us who are going to be watching no matter what. And perhaps it makes it a little more likely someone flipping channels will stop on USA or Fox for a few seconds longer. But most of the stuff I enjoyed I would have enjoyed with last Monday’s no-crowd set-up. And the bits that fell flat with a socially distant audience would have done nothing for me either way.

What do you think, Cagesiders? Give us a click in the poll, and let us know in the comments what else you think about Raw & SmackDown with “fans”.

Poll

Are you more likely to watch Raw and SmackDown now that there’s a "crowd"?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Yes
    (798 votes)
  • 32%
    No
    (524 votes)
  • 17%
    I haven’t decided
    (287 votes)
1609 votes total Vote Now