Monday, August 24, 2020

Virtual Fans at WWE SummerSlam Were Told When to Cheer and Boo

Virtual Fans at WWE SummerSlam Were Told When to Cheer and Boo
After the first ThunderDome show on SmackDown, the feeling was that some changes needed to be made because the virtual fans did not do much during matches.

Most of them sat and watched like any fan would do while watching from home.

Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the fans at last night's WWE SummerSlam were being coached at certain times so they could get a reaction for the cameras.

Meltzer said, “The basic gist is the ThunderDome is [like] WCW Orlando tapings. The Orlando tapings from Disney World from the mid-90s where they would hold up signs and say ‘cheer,’ ‘boo’ and all this. What they do is, there’s a fan coordinator on the headset and all the people can hear him and he says ‘everyone put your thumb down.'”

Meltzer continued, “When I watch on the screen and you’re seeing all these fans at the same time putting their dumb down, it’s kind of like, this is so fake because no one does this in real life as a real crowd in synchronize other than in North Korea, they probably would…That’s what we got here. If you notice, most of the time people just kind of sit there and don’t do anything and it’s all piped in crowd noise but every now and then you would have something where everybody would boo or everybody would cheer but it wasn’t the whole match, it would be in certain spots. What it would be is when the coordinator says, ‘everybody cheer’ and ‘everybody boo’ and if there was a chant, that’s what they would tell them to do.”

Meltzer explained why WWE feels the need to coach the virtual fans. He said, “It wasn’t working the way they did it on Friday. Obviously, there’s gonna be changes every week until they kind of get it right and this is another experiment.” He added, “One of the big things that people in WWE were telling me is that you don’t know who’s really getting over and not getting over because it’s a fake crowd.”

Meltzer noted that the same problem exists in NXT because they are using developmental wrestlers as fans and the wrestlers don’t truly know what is really getting over without real fans to cheer them on.

The video below is an example of the fans being coached for the cameras.



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