5 crazy ways WWE can use an empty arena to their advantage at WrestleMania
- WWE has the opportunity to do something really different at WrestleMania this year.
- And, let's face it - they're kind of going to have to.
WrestleMania 36, because of public health concerns regarding the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, will not be held in the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL this year. You've... probably heard about that already. Instead, the Show of Shows will be presented over two (yep, I can count... I went to college) nights, and will be held not just at the WWE Performance Center (as a closed set), but also various other "multiple locations."
If you're like me - and I know I am - your heart sank just a little bit when this news was originally announced. Obviously, we all understand that the safety of the audience, performers, and crew is of utmost importance. Besides, if there's anybody who was going to find a way to keep the show going, it was going to be Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Then, as I sometimes do, I got to thinking. WWE has always been able to take circumstances like this and turn them into a positive. There was the Raw after the 2015 Royal Rumble, which had to be canceled due to inclement weather (aka it snowed a lot and nobody could get there.) Or the SmackDown following Crown Jewel 2019, when a majority of the roster was stuck in Saudi Arabia. Both shows took what they had at their disposal and made the most of them. And they were great.
WWE has already thrown another wrinkle into the mix by announcing that 3-time NFL Super Bowl star and guy who admits he's friends with Mojo Rawley for some reason, Rob Gronkowski will be the host of both nights. Gronk retired from professional American Football in 2018 and, since then, has worked on his broadcasting chops as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports the following year.
So, here's some other ways we think can make this show... memorable. At least, more memorable than it's already going to be be.
#5. Make it cinematic
When I first pitched this idea to the Sportskeeda higher ups, I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with what is, in my humble opinion, a pretty darn good topic.
Then, I thought of two topics and got stumped. It happens.
Fortuitiously, my friend and actor/comedian John Gholson posted this on Twitter and totally came to my aid (and, yes, he totally knows there's a typo here):
I find it hard not to agree with this. Filming this show like any other WWE PPV - sans an audience - simply puts into sharp relief that there's no audience. WWE had fun with the concept on last Monday's Raw during the Stone Cold 3:16 Day segment...
But considering the format WWE is going with for the Show of Shows this year (see above), and there's an opportunity to film the event in ways they normally wouldn't.
Usually, I've found the times wrestling companies have actually done this a bit jarring - see the ending of the Halftime Heat empty arena match between Mankind and The Rock, where Mick Foley uses a forklift to win the WWE Championship from Rock, for example.
But, we're already dealing with a pretty jarring situation as it is. This is a perfectly fine time to try something new. And, who knows? They may just come up with a few ideas they can actually keep using.