WWE moved to an empty-arena policy a few months ago after the COVID-19 outbreak forced them to leave the audiences out of their events. After a few weeks of having absolutely zero fans in the audience, WWE started using NXT talents in the crowd, but not many were thrilled at the prospect of attending tapings merely to clap and shout.
According to Fightful, things have improved in WWE, but the situation still remains dicey. It was reported that the NXT talents weren’t having the best time standing in the crowd for several hours at a stretch. Fightful reported that several names skipped the taping for Adam Cole-Velveteen Dream NXT Championship match at Takeover: In Your House.
Friends of the wrestlers were called in at last moment as placeholders for the cinematic matchup. The match saw ‘fans’ cheering on from their cars in the backlot matchup between the two stars.
“We’re told many no-showed the back lot fight between Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream, specifically. Along the way, some NXT Talent, including Undisputed Era were asked to come in as extra noise before friends of the wrestlers were eventually brought in. Prior to that, many of the top names in NXT were exempt from even being asked to come by.”
Stephanie McMahon recently mentioned that attending tapings was voluntary for the WWE employees, but seems like it is not really the case. Fightful went on to report that there were a few NXT stars who were forced to attend the tapings.
“As far as Stephanie McMahon’s notions that everything is on a volunteer basis, that hasn’t been the sentiment echoed by NXT recruits. While there was one early name that told NXT they wouldn’t be coming in, we’ve heard of several that asked to not participate and were told they needed to come in.”
There are several questions being asked about WWE’s handling of the current pandemic situation, and new details keep coming out to light with each passing week.