CM Punk recently spoke to The No-Sports Report about wrestling in front of no crowd. Needless to say, he is not a fan. He mentioned wrestling needing an audience while sports like hockey of MMA do not.
Here is the full quote, courtesy of Wrestling Inc.:
“I would be able to watch hockey or UFC or Bellator, any kind of mixed martial arts fight when there’s no people in the crowd because it’s a sport. With pro wrestling, I find it completely impossible to watch with no crowd. The audience is the 100% – and this is more evident than ever now – driving force behind what wrestlers do in the ring. When I wrestled, that was my boss.
A lot of people have their favorite wrestlers and debate who’s on the Mount Rushmore or greatest of all time but the thing that separates the greatest wrestlers from the okay guys is that when they’re in the ring, they’re the bosses, they’re in charge, but the truth to that is, the audience is in charge. The audience boos and cheers who they want, they tell you if they like the moves, if they are emotionally invested in the match that tells you where to take it. You can manipulate them but they can also manipulate the match.
Without all of that, I don’t know what we’re doing. It lends credence, in my opinion, to everyone who argues that wrestling is just a stage fight, it’s a simulation, its predetermined acrobatics. Without the audience, without the emotion and the adrenaline, that’s what I feel like I’m watching, I feel like I’m watching a video game.”
WWE and AEW have both been filming their shows with no crowd as of late.
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