For more than 30 years, WrestleMania has thrived on the
emotions and reactions of the tens of thousands of fans in attendance. An
electric crowd has successfully boosted the show and its moments to legendary
status and cemented them in our brains.
So what happens when you hold a Showcase of the Immortals
without any fans? What happens when there’s no one to react to big moments,
such as a dive off a ladder, or a new champion being crowned?
We found out Saturday night during the first half of WrestleMania
36. It certainly was a weird experience, as moments when you’d expect fans to
get fired up and fill gaps – double-downs, a wrestler fighting for a tag, a wrestler
winning or retaining a title – was met with silence, save for the announcers
trying to fill the space.
The matches themselves were overall pretty good, with the
ladder match and Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens grudge match standing out, and the Boneyard
Match was something to behold. That one might divide fans.
One major gripe: Several matches were changed due to the current
situation, and they received zero mention, which is just unforgiveable,
especially when any person with a working brain could conceive a plausible storyline
reason for the changes. “Card subject to change” is fine, but give us an excuse
why tag titles are being defended in a singles bout?
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.