2020 saw the world come to a halt due to the pandemic with a virus that forced everyone to change their habits. WWE has not stopped fighting during this health emergency but the situation has been far from easy with the risks that, especially in the United States, are still quite serious.
Sporttechie colleagues recently interviewed Rajan Mehta, WWE Chief Tech Officer. There has been talk of many issues and among these the strict protocol used by WWE has emerged. During the interview Mehta reiterated the usefulness of the WWE ThunderDome, an innovative concept for professional wrestling that WWE is using to create an interactive environment and to try to regain the energy of the WWE Universe.
The ThunderDome is an innovative concept for pro wrestling that WWE is using to create an interactive environment.
WWE executive explains operating ThunderDome
He said “it feels great to watch” because the energy of the WWE Universe was able to find its way back to their television programming.
“We take pride in how we’ve operated through COVID-19; we tried to innovate every portion of our organization. It’s important to create a diversion in these hard times and we took that to heart: we never stopped producing content and our weekly shows.
We were really excited about that. Back in March, we moved content creation to Orlando without fans, central personnel only. And most recently with the ThunderDome at Amway, we are able to have 1,000 fans in attendance at any given time.
When I look at what we did, at our technology and production capabilities, I feel like we set the bar. The ability to try and bring fans to our environment and give the energy of what WWE is—it feels great to watch. Part of what we do is create this energy at WWE and it ties into our overall production value.
I always like to quote Yogi Berra when people ask me about predictions. He said: ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.’ But if you look at what we’ve done over the last several months from a content perspective, I can see some of that continuing into the future from a production standpoint.
From a technology standpoint, we’ve gained a lot of information from a remote working and production/editing perspective, and some of that could live on. We’re living in a world where things have changed so much.
Right now, this virtual audience we’ve built out has been really impactful. There’s been a desire to watch sports, and part of that is the interaction you can have with fans, and I think what we’ve done with the ThunderDome has been phenomenal.
A few years ago, direct-to-consumer technologies helped broaden the sports and entertainment world. The evolution of sports production will continue. That video quality and immersion will continue to grow. And with the 5G rollout, that evolutionary stuff is going to take another leap forward”.