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Mike Rome on Doing Raw in an Empty Arena, Changes to the Show Due to COVID-19

March 26, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Mike Rome

Raw announcer Mike Rome spoke with Chris Van Vliet and talked about the experience of doing Raw in an empty arena due to the coronavirus pandemic. WWE has obviously made big changes over the last couple of weeks due to the spreading COVID-19 situation, which included filming at the Performance Center without fans in attendance.

Rome talked with Van Vliet about how different that was for him and how some fans reacted to the changes, such as limited matches and rebroadcasts of matches like the Royal Rumble, as part of the change. Highlights and the full video are below:

On what was it was like doing Raw at the Performance Center for no crowd: “It was a lot of things, I will say that. It was a lot of things. The thing that people, I think, forget is that we are surrounded by each other so much that we are really a family. You see everybody down to the camera guys, to the catering, to whoever. We traveled together, from the highest to the lowest. And you see all those people all the time, so at least when you’re in a place like that, that’s unfamiliar. When you’re doing something different, at least you’re around your family. That’s what it feels like And going to the P.C. was odd because, they did transform most of it. But then you also have that WWE Performance Center thing on the other side. So I kept looking up like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re in the Performance Center.'”

On the empty arena aspect of the show: “For me, it was odd during the matches because it’s just so — I want to like make up for the noise. So I want to sit in the corner and go ‘Yeah!,’ and like make the noise and do all the stuff. Because I feel bad, like, I’ve been on the other side. It would be like me getting into a thing to host or doing the Indiana Jones show [at Disneyland], or a show that needs interaction and not having that. It’s definitely different.

“It’s weird, but it’s so cool to see these guys perform these promos, and these epic things that they’re not used to, and step outside their comfort zone and come together to put something out there for people. So I think everybody was a little somber and trying to figure things out. But once we got rolling, it was just like being back on Monday somewhere else, just without the audience.”

On criticism of the current Raw format due to the empty arena and COVID-19 precautions: “I think I posted a thing, somebody took a photo of the arena with us in there and just the emptiness. And I think Edge was cutting his promo at that time. And I’m watching him because I’m just like, ‘Wow, dude.’ Like, really just, it’s so great what some of those guys are doing. And I remember, I posted the thing and people are like, ‘Oh well they only showed the Rumble [match] or they only showed this.’

“And the thing is, when you’re taking something that you’re used to doing a certain way for so long, and now you have to kinda change it. There wasn’t a lot of time for us to kind of shift what was happening, and how to make it. So I think what they’re gonna see moving forward is going to be a lot cooler of a process. Because you know, the first two days, they didn’t have time to turn it around. But now they’ve had time to kind of sit there and give something back to everybody to get their minds off of what’s going on, and, as long as we can, I’m 100% sure it’s gonna keep going.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Mike Rome, RAW, WWE, Jeremy Thomas