Becky Lynch Talks WrestleMania: Empty Arena Dynamic, Coronavirus Concerns

There has never been, and probably will never be, a WrestleMania quite like this year's. With the [...]

There has never been, and probably will never be, a WrestleMania quite like this year's. With the coronavirus pandemic at full force in the United States, WWE was forced to move this year's biggest show of the year to their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Not only was the show moved, but it is being taped in advance with no fans present. With professional wrestlers trained to craft their matches based on crowd response, it's a totally different dynamic for them as performers. During a recent interview with ESPN, WWE RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch spoke about this year's WrestleMania and not having any fans there to witness it.

"I came from the independent circuit, so I'm used to wrestling in front of nobody," Lynch joked. "I remember wrestling somewhere in Killarney—back in Ireland—wrestling in front of seven people, and I almost think that might be worse because you can hear everything they're saying. So, there's nobody there where you might hear some disrespectful comments from time-to-time. I'm somebody who has fed off the energy of the crowd and it's been my connection with the crowd to get me where I am and I know without those people I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing.

"It's a different shift in your brain, you have to use a different part of you because you know at the other end of it there's millions of people watching, so you have to connect to them differently. You're not going to get that same gratification when you go out there in front of an audience and they let you know how well you're doing, or how well you're not doing, but they're responding to you constantly. There's less self-gratification, but more concentration on the nuances of what you're message is."

Lynch was also asked whether she has had any concerns with safety as it relates to the coronavirus.

"No, I didn't have any concerns for myself," Lynch responded. "We setup a very hygienic system and really limited the amount of people that are there. I think the only thing I'm conscientious of is now that we're back, and we just isolated ourselves for a couple of weeks to make sure we don't have any symptoms before we go out in the world again.

"[WWE is] staggering everything, if you don't have a reason to be there then get the hell out of there. If you have a match or a segment then you're there with a minimal amount of crew to shoot it. Then, of course, when you come in you're tested. Your temperature is taken, questionnaire is filled out, and the doctors are there to meet you as soon as you walk into the building."WWE WrestleMania 36 will be a two night event this year, and Lynch believes that her match will be airing on Saturday night. As best we can tell from reports, this is the updated WWE WrestleMania 36 card:

  • WWE Championship
    Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
  • WWE Universal Championship Match
    Bill Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman
    (Match changed from Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg)
  • NXT Women's Championship Match
    Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
  • WWE RAW Women's Championship Match
    Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
  • Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship
    Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans vs. Sasha Banks vs. Naomi vs. Tamina Snuka
  • WWE RAW Tag Team Championship Match
    The Street Profits (c) vs. Angel Garza and Austin Theory
    (Changed from Garza and Andrade vs. The Street Profits)
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
    Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
  • Ladder Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
    John Morrison (c) vs. One of The Usos
    (Changed from The New Day vs. The Usos vs. John Morrison and The Miz)
  • WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Match
    Asuka and Kairi Sane (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
  • Last Man Standing Match
    Edge vs. Randy Orton
  • Boneyard Match
    The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
  • Firefly Fun House Match
    John Cena vs. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt
  • Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
  • Elias vs. King Baron Corbin
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Aleister Black
  • Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • Host: Rob Gronkowski

[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcript]