While it may not replace the feeling of a sold out arena, the WWE ThunderDome incorporates virtual members of the WWE Universe as a crowd for WWE Superstars. The WWE ThunderDome also utilises other production elements such as pyro, lasers and drones. Many have praised WWE for their innovation with the WWE ThunderDome during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent interview with PWInsider, Drew McIntyre discussed how much of a "difference maker" the WWE ThunderDome is in generating that "big feel" you associate with televised WWE events:
"Yeah, it's a big difference maker. It has that kinda, big feel that you expect from WWE as a viewer and as a performer. Not that I didn't have the butterflies in the PC, I certainly did and always do, but I especially have them here. Right now I'm just getting into the zone, getting ready for Raw as I always do and man, the entrances are something else. When I first came out, on the first Raw in the ThunderDome and I raised the Title and freaking fire started going off around me and pyro going off around me, you know I'm still a wrestling fan at heart, I'm just standing there trying to keep a straight face, but in my head I am marking the hell out, man this is really freaking cool."
Drew McIntyre on the atmosphere inside the WWE ThunderDome
Continuing to discuss what it is like performing inside the WWE ThunderDome, Drew McIntyre gave an insight to the atmosphere of WWE's state of the art set-up at the Amway Center.
The WWE Champion revealed that being able to once again see, hear and feel the WWE Universe is a huge benefit in creating emotion in a match:
"And then when it comes to the matches themselves and the atmosphere, I've been able to see faces react but also hearing and feeling them in the arena. When Randy and I were in that match it was such a difference maker for the emotion and that's kind of what Randy and I are about, is telling the story, and you really need that feedback from the crowd to kinda dictate where you're going and feel that emotion. It made such a difference during that match, again we're feeling things out as we go, maybe my initial promo I realized that the reactions weren't quite going to be from a live crowd, we have a slight delay, it kinda threw me off but we tweaked it a bit, we figured it out. I did a promo last week and OK, we'll figure that issue out and it's a figuring out process every step we go, you know we progress and our team are so unbelievable and they're making us look like stars, it feels closer to what you would expect with WWE with the pyro and the lights and those drones flying overhead, so we feel good."
What are your thoughts on the WWE ThunderDome?