Wrestling promotions before, during, and post pandemic

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 03: General view of at the Georgia World Congress Center on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 03: General view of at the Georgia World Congress Center on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images) /

It has been over a year since the pandemic shut the whole world down. The wrestling world managed to hang on and found different ways to cope with the pandemic. Professional wrestling at its highest levels continued to operate, giving its fans something to hold onto in this trying time.

As everything comes back to semi-normal, there is a lot to unload for what has happened and what will happen in the future. Each wrestling company took different approaches to refresh their brand and it leaves a lot to look forward to as fans return.

Wrestling fans have a lot to look forward to in the future.

All the major wrestling companies provided entertainment in their own way, and it equaled some outside-the-box thinking to provide entertainment. The different approaches from each company will provide a little bit of everything for every individual wrestling fan.

Impact Wrestling was a unique situation for the pandemic, they still had tapings pre-pandemic still airing on AXS TV when the pandemic first started. It was very nostalgic and it gave a sense that everything was going to be okay. Reality hit as the pandemic continued and the newer episode tapings showed an empty arena.

Impact Wrestling had to get creative to make the empty arena scenario work for them. That is when they came up with the most interesting segment known as Wrestle House, which will forever be associated with the summer of the pandemic. It consisted of Rosemary’s storyline with John E.Bravo, which took a new and unexpected turn.

The Wrestle House segment was a refreshing change of pace since it became a little tiring going into the Impact Zone with no crowd on hand. They found a way through Wrestle House to amplify new energy and give us a needed small break away from the empty Impact Zone.

Impact Wrestling was always known for being cinematic with their storylines, but they really pushed the bounds creatively in the midst of uncertain times. They may realize they can entertain the fans with their unique world as fans come back in new ways than they did before.

AEW Continues to Excel

All Elite Wrestling was initially a sad situation since they were just getting the ball rolling for their company. It almost felt like they were in the same boat as all of us when it came to uncertainty for the future. The more shows they held, there seemed to be a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

The energy for the matches kept going as if it was a full house in the arena. From Chris Jericho to the dog collar match between the late great Brodie Lee and Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship. The size of the crowd gradually grew for each memorable moment during a show.

Arguably the most memorable as the pandemic was still going was Thunder Rosa versus Britt Baker in their lights-out match. The two athletes gave a performance of a lifetime and it solidified Thunder Rosa as the best today, and Britt Baker having a landmark match that will follow her for the rest of her career.

The world was peaking at almost a full year of the pandemic when everything shut down. The lights-out match happening around the same time everything with the world went lights out. It is hard to imagine any match or moment topping their historic match.

WWE struggles creatively

WWE has done everything possible to keep their shows rolling. It started off without a crowd, but then they decided to utilize NXT superstars to fill the crowd. They eventually introduced us to the Thunderdome, which looked like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.

WWE shook things up with Drew McIntyre winning his first world title, Bobby Lashley winning his first world title, and Alexa Bliss going through major changes.  Creativity stagnated heavily during the pandemic within the promotion, which can be seen by the number of rematches and rehashes were shown every week. WWE testing the waters creatively could spell something more for the future.

No matter what, WWE took those risks and they backed away from the generic formula that they utilize for rivalries pre-pandemic. This may lead to WWE taking even more creative risks, and no matter the reaction, fans can’t deny there have been great changes.

Wrestling was there for all of us through the hard times even when other sports and entertainment came to a screeching halt. Wrestling not only kept going while we went through hard times, but all the wrestling shows have also gone through major changes.

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Looking at where the wrestling shows were pre-pandemic and comparing to now shows that there is a lot to be excited about as fans return. The world may have stood still, but wrestling kept evolving and it moved forward.

As fans return to each respective show for the major wrestling companies and the independent wrestling circuit, there is bound to be a renewed energy for all major shows and a renewed energy that will lift us up once more as some of us face permanent painful memories the pandemic has left us. It’s time for the fans to enjoy wrestling and experience the new moments live.