It didn’t take long for WWE fans to ruin the Thunderdome experience for everyone.
WWE debuted a new way for fans to interact with the on-screen product by installing the Thunderdome at the Amway Center. Fans could sign up online and register to appear on the show, as the Thunderdome is basically a giant Zoom call where people can show up on various screens throughout the arena.
The first episode of SmackDown and the following Pay Per View SummerSlam passed without major incidents, but the Aug. 24 episode of Raw featured a few abhorrent, disgusting acts by fans on the Thunderdome.
One fan posted a picture of murderer and former WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, another posted video footage of an execution, and one fan dressed up in a KKK robe and waved the confederate flag.
In a statement given to Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin, WWE stated that they have “zero tolerance” for the racist fan’s behavior and “are working to ban” the individual from future events.
That better mean this fan has been banned from all future Thunderdome and live events, because WWE cannot have a safe atmosphere with this fan in attendance.
After Monday night’s actions from a few fans, WWE will need to be more strict about who gets on the Thunderdome. They cannot always cut the feed off quickly enough to prevent bigoted or violent images or videos, so they may have to be more selective about which fans they allow and may have to have a screening process.
At live events, WWE can have a better idea of who is in the building and what they are bringing into the building, but with the Thunderdome, anyone can do anything from the comfort of their own home. They will feel safe expressing racism or depicting violence on their screens, because they think there will be no repercussions.
This fan who dressed up in a KKK robe and waved the confederate flag should face more repercussions than just being banned from all future events. Hopefully, WWE uses this incident to create better safeguards and a strict code of what will happen to fans who use the Thunderdome to promote hate and violence.