The WWE no longer uses pyro on TV and PPVs. Fans feel fireworks enhanced the product but ditching the indoor Roman candles and sparklers is best for business.
Earlier this week, the Wrestling Observer confirmed that WWE fan’s eyes were not deceiving them and the company has casually and deliberately done away with pyrotechnics on all of the major live events.
The lack of pyro during entrances is the result of the WWE cutting cost, according to Dave Meltzer, and the company “no longer feels the need” to light up the indoor skies.
Even former WWE stars are joining the discussion. When asked how much “lower” the WWE can go with cost cutting measures — most notably ditching custom entrances and fizzy fireworks, former WWE Tag Team Champion Brian “Road Dogg” James explained it’s just a matter of cutting costs and neither a necessity for creating a quality wrestling show. James remarked on Twitter…
"“In 3 months it’ll be the norm, and no one will care. That’s our current society. Pyro in a Wrestling show isn’t a priority in life.”"
Phasing out the bangs and booms has been an ongoing process. With every PPV and TV taping, the pyro has been reduced to a few quick displays here and there. Even WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar went without his signature cannon blasts at Great Balls of Fire.
Eliminating pyro from shows is a better for business. Here are few more reasons why pyro needed to go.
The money will be spent elsewhere
In a breakdown of WWE’s 2016 financials, a Redditor points out that the cost of producing all WWE television shows comes to roughly $120 million per year with Raw and Smackdown averaging about $885K per episode.
Phasing out the use of pyro during Raw and Smackdown Live might have lead to a few layoff on the tech and live event side of the company, and possibly the shuttering of a couple Twitter accounts, but the money saved by not turning the inside of arenas into Fourth of July spectacles will mean funds being allocated funds to other parts of the show. If less pyro means more money spent on Breezango segments, I’m all for it.
Keeping the family atmosphere
The last time I attended a WWE live event was for a live Raw episode. I remember the matches, the electricity of the crowd and how many times I blinked from sitting so close to an indoor fireworks display that shot off every 15 minutes or so.
My son is slowly getting hooked on wrestling. He’s also deathly afraid of loud noises. He reacts to a flushed toilet like it’s the sound of a dirty bomb going off inside an aluminum garbage can. I put off taking him to a WWE live event in fear that the thunderous sound of pyro might cause PTSD.
This isn’t the Attitude or Ruthless Aggression era anymore. Some old habits just need to die (I’m looking right at you, 20-minute long promo to start Raw) and things just need to change. The raucous arena environments of the 90s and early Aughts are gone. The WWE is all about fun for the entire family and now I don’t need to worry if my family will be significantly traumatized at a Smackdown Live.
Most performers just don’t need it
Let’s be honest, not every WWE performer needs a massive fireworks sky show every time they step into the arena, and some performers who would have been prime candidates for pyro in past years have done wonders without it.
Think of some of the most entertaining entrances in the WWE today. Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Finn Balor all come to mind. None of those guys need sparklers, poppers, snaps or those weird little snakes that just looked like expanding pieces of poop to get the crowd to pop.
Occasional pyro makes big moments feel even bigger
For a significant period of time, it was hard to decipher the difference between a pay-per-view and an episode of Raw and not just because WWE runs many of the same matches the night after a PPV. The absence of pyro on WWE TV will make PPV openings and wrestler entrances feel that much more important. The same can be said for wrestlers debuting on the main roster or returning from injury or hiatus.
The WWE, and fans are much better off without firecrackers and plumes of smoke hovering in the air during matches. Just like Road Dogg said in his tweet, eventually no one will care.