WWE and AEW have been greatly hit by the current pandemic, and the restrictions on public gatherings have taken a major aspect of weekly programming away from the wrestling shows.
It seems like WWE won’t be having fans back for at least another month, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The company is currently using a group of Performance Center recruits as fans, but it cannot substitute the presence of an audience in the arena.
It was also noted that Vince McMahon is extremely unhappy with the situation, as there is no clarity of which gimmicks and rivalries are working and which aren’t.
The planted fans are following the trope of cheering the faces and booing the heels, but that isn’t always the case with a general audience.
“McMahon was also frustrated believing that much of the new talent being pushed wasn’t getting over, and with no live crowds, it was pretty much impossible to tell what acts truly are and aren’t starting to get a following.”
“The reality is it won’t be until a month or more after crowds return that you may be able to ascertain that aspect of what is and isn’t working.”
The state of Florida (which hosts WWE and AEW events) is easing down restrictions, but both the companies are still quite some time away from having a crowd in the arena.