A Fightful Select report revealed that wrestlers will bring in “friends and family” to serve as a crowd for the NXT TakeOver 31 PPV on Sunday.
NXT TakeOver is scheduled for this Sunday. With several big matches scheduled to occur, this is an anticipated event, just like TakeOvers in the past. But this one will have one key difference considering the COVID-19 era of professional wrestling. According to Fightful Select fans are returning to the PPV in some fashion for the first time in months thanks to the global pandemic.
According to Friday’s report, talent have revealed that requests were made to bring in “fans and family” for the event. No one under the age of 16 can attend without a guardian. Social distancing, face masks, a rapid COVID-19 tests and temperature checks will also occur for those in attendance. They will also have to sign a waiver. NXT TakeOver 31 will occur at the WWE Performance Center.
This will be the WWE’s first event to have a crowd since COVID-19 grinded the wrestling industry to a halt. This is a perplexing decision as the WWE has continued to have issues with handling COVID-19. They had a recent outbreak that hindered NXT tapings scheduled for September 9. Before this, there were other issues that occurred with outbreaks earlier in the year that included positive tests for individuals like Kayla Braxton and Renee Young.
All Elite Wrestling welcome fans back into Daily’s Place last month but they’ve also recently experienced issues with a COVID-19 outbreak that impacted their tapings on September 9 as well. AEW has taken more extensive measures than the WWE and seen better results, but this outbreak in their location shows how difficult it is to manage this ordeal as it rages across the world. In many ways, the close-knit nature of the professional wrestling industry makes it amazing that we have not seen an industry wide outbreak at this time.
WWE welcoming fans back into the Performance Center for NXT TakeOver 31 will add an atmosphere to the show that has not been seen in months. However, there should be an understandable apprehension around the development as the company itself continues to struggle with managing the illness, just like Florida and much of the United States does at the same time.