Since late Match, both WWE and AEW have been forced to produce their weekly shows and monthly PPVs in front of empty arenas.
Whilst it has clearly affected both shows massively, not many would argue that AEW have adapted to this reality in a much more effective way than their competition. From their cinematic style matches, to clever use of camera angles, they’ve simply been better.
Possibly the most noticeable difference has been AEW’s use of roster members and other figures associated with the promotion as a de facto crowd. Sure, it’s not been the same but it has added massively to the atmosphere.
While WWE’s superstars have awkwardly performed in front of silence, AEW have had sights ranging from MJF heckling half the roster through to Vickie Guerrero screaming her lungs out at Double Or Nothing. It’s really worked.
Now, almost inevitably and definitely correctly, WWE are following suit.
According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select, a number of NXT stars are at the Performance Center to act in the same capacity at Raw tonight.
Before we all jump to on the ‘Typical WWE, copying AEW’ bandwagon, it’s important to remember that this is inherently a good idea and WWE should be in the habit of copying their competition’s good idea. As should AEW for that matter.
Anything that makes Raw, Smackdown and NXT more watchable should be welcomed by all fans. Despite at times strong content, they have been tough to watch at times over the last couple of months. If done right, this should go a long way to helping make the programmes feel much more like wrestling programmes.