Pro wrestling: An entertaining escape and a sense of community

Heavy Machinery and The New Day teamed up on the October 18, 2019 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. Photo:
Heavy Machinery and The New Day teamed up on the October 18, 2019 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown. Photo: /

Professional wrestling has always been an important escape for fans, and it has the power to bring people together at a higher level even while we’re doing our best to separate physically.

In a world where we are constantly moving, on the go, and hardly worried about the world that surrounds us, every now and then we are humbled. A novel coronavirus outbreak has made the world as we know it stop while we work to flatten the curve and keep each other safe.

As someone who makes it a point to talk to people and interact with fellow wrestling fans on social media, I am hearing stories firsthand of how people are being affected by this. Whether it’s financially, mentally, physically or all of these we have all been impacted in some way by this worldwide pandemic. Having all other live forms of entertainment canceled on TV and in real life, it left very little for us to look forward to as an escape.

When it was announced that SmackDown was going to air on FOX without an audience, there were a lot of different reactions from the WWE Universe. Some were not quite sure how it would look or feel without the audience, especially since audience reaction is part of the experience of live pro wrestling. As the episode aired, people really enjoyed the show. It was different, but, man, we were so happy to see something on TV that brought a smile to our face, something familiar, something good!

A week or so later it was announced that WrestleMania will continue without fans and become a two-night event. There were a lot of people upset, a lot of people relieved, confused and unsure of how to feel. Half of the magic that is known as WrestleMania is the fan reaction and involvement in some of the biggest matches that happen all year. However, in my opinion, with there being no audience WWE can be more creative than they ever could be with a live audience in attendance.

All of this being said,  while wrestling has always been there for us, at what cost? A line has to be drawn somewhere. Although these performers are often seen as superheroes and larger than life characters, they are indeed human like the rest of us. Human beings with significant others, kids, pets, parents just like us, their health matters just as much as ours.

Recently it was reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin that Roman Reigns pulled out of the WrestleMania 36 taping, citing concerns for his health. Reigns returned to WWE television in 2019 after beating cancer for the second time in his life. These superstars are admired and supported by so many, and while WWE tries to make it safe for wrestlers to come and perform at the Performance Center, they have every right to put their health first, just as we do.

Next. Roman Reigns officially out of WrestleMania 36. dark

This is a time for the wrestling community to come together and support each other, not judge these superstars on the personal decisions they decide to make. One thing is for sure, in a time where a lot of people are feeling uncertain as to what the next day holds, these pro wrestlers have always put their bodies and health on the line for us year-round. It’s time for us to be there for them and each other now more than ever.

Let’s enjoy what they have done for us, including WrestleMania next weekend and be there for each other. My hope is once we get back to some normalization, this sense of community that has spawned from this pandemic locally and on social media continues around the world.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.