During an interview on the Wrestling Inc Daily podcast, Matt Hardy talked about his recent jump from WWE to AEW and how he feels starting in a new company during the “empty arena” era.
“The biggest thing when you’re forced to do empty arena shows is there’s a realization of how important the audience is,” said Hardy.
“They really are a part of the match in pro-wrestling,” he continued. “The cheers, the boos, the kickouts and the emotion invested in false finishes.”
According to Hardy, the lack of audience means that performers need to be more creative in order to make things more interesting and “good television.”
Hardy talked about the importance of looking directly in the camera during tapings in empty arenas in order to connect with the audience at home.
“If there’s no fans in the audience then you’re not talking to any of them as I’m only talking to the people on the other side of the screen watching,” he said.
“The other thing is being very committed to the role,” continued Hardy. “If you are performing or wrestling you have to be overly committed.”
He admitted that the audience reaction gives an adrenaline rush that can improve performance so if there’s no audience, a performer must still give their all.
“In an empty arena you have to force yourself to get into it to seem like you are really doing what you’re doing for the television audience,” he said.