WWE introduced the ThunderDome to fans, and there were a lot of immediate questions. Other reports from fans said that the ThunderDome’s moderators were instructing fans on how to react.
The company has changed their tactic with ThunderDome fans each week until they find the perfect balance. Busted Open Radio‘s Dave LeGreca recently took a trip to the ThunderDome and he reported his experiences on the air.
LeGreca said that WWE ThunderDome moderators didn’t tell fans what to say, but they suggested that fans show the camera what they think. Some fans are told to turn their lights on because they are in a dark room. There are also instructions to be animated because you never know when the ThunderDome might pick your face to put on television, but no explicit instructions were given during that show.
“About 5 minutes before 205 Live starts, they kind of give you the low down. They say try not to use any signs unless it’s show related. We don’t want any vulgar obscene gestures or anything like that. Let’s keep it clean and be animated. You never know when we are going to go to you so be as animated and as loud as possible. There was nothing I thought was anything objectionable at all. Then the show starts. What they say is hey, WWE universe, we have about 30 seconds, let’s start getting loud. We are going to be on TV. Let’s get animated. They will even say there are a lot of you in a dark room. Let’s try to get some overhead lighting so we can see your faces.”
“The reason why I wanted to experience it is that a lot of people said there are people coaching you on what to do and what to say and who to cheer for. Then you get into the show. You will hear them say let us hear what you feel about Roman Reigns or Paul Heyman. Or, here comes Sasha Banks and Bayley, tell us what you think. Not once during that whole experience, and I was a part of it for 2 hours because it was an hour of 205 Live and an hour of SmackDown is what I did. Not once during that whole time did they say, alright, here comes Big E, let’s have everybody cheer. Or here comes your Universal Champion, Roman Reigns and he is a heel so let’s boo. That never happened during the experience. If you’re seeing on social media they are coaching you on how to feel, that did not happen. Did they coach you to be excited and say you are going to be on TV so be animated, yes.”
WWE’s ThunderDome moderators were telling fans how to cheer and boo in the past. We heard from fans who were told that they needed to give a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” all night depending on the segment. This is likely why there are so many fans in the ThunderDome giving those signs.
The ThunderDome is a learning process for everyone involved. Hopefully, WWE will be able to figure out how to make things work, but they have the Amway Center until at least the end of October with the option to extend their stay.
Thanks to Wrestling News for the quote