Lackluster ambience


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Lackluster ambience

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I have been a fan of professional wrestling for years. It is a bit like watching a soap opera with elite athletes doing the occasional insane acrobatic stunt. While it may not technically be a sport, it can be very entertaining. Part of that entertainment is a raucous crowd cheering for their favorite wrestler or booing the antagonist. It is also when someone pulls off an Olympic level move and the crowd explodes. Now, there is no crowd. Due to COVID-19 the wrestlers no longer play to a live audience. To bring back some of the ambience missing from their absence, WWE (and some other forms of live entertainment) have instituted workarounds like digital fans on screens and fake crowd noise. Before that though, there was nothing. Just a complete absence of fans. Their silence was deafening and the events awkward. This is a recording of one such event, Smackdown, March 13, 2020. Two wrestlers, a referee, and three announcers all performing a play to no audience. There is a marked difference. WWE announcers are known for being loquacious, but in this their banter has an almost desperate edge to cover up the missing element of the fans. And not just the announcers. The referee and the wrestlers seem to be talking both more and louder. Even with all that there is still a very noticeable missing element of ambience. It is interesting to me how much they have to try to cover up the sound of silence.
Alt-text: Jeff Hardy returns to WWE SmackDown, beats King Corbin w/ help from Elias.

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This item was submitted on October 16, 2020 by Renee Lenfers using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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