Backstage News WWE TV Tapings: New Barriers, NXT Talents Used In The Crowd, More

The WWE crew had another long day of tapings at the Performance Center in Orlando on Memorial Day, according to PWInsider. Original plans called for this week’s RAW and next week’s RAW to be taped on Monday, but instead they taped this week’s RAW, SmackDown, 205 Live and Main Event episodes. WWE is scheduled for another long day of tapings later today, Tuesday. They are set to tape next week’s RAW, SmackDown, 205 Live and Main Event episodes. Wednesday will see the company tape several hours worth of WWE NXT programming, which will bring them to the “Takeover: In Your House” event on June 7.

WWE used several NXT developmental talents on Monday’s RAW as members of the crowd, which was done to add energy to the show while they aren’t allowed to have fans due to the coronavirus pandemic, which AEW has also done over the past few months. These talents were also used for the SmackDown, 205 Live and Main Event tapings, and will be used for NXT as well. WWE allowed the trainees to take short breaks and allowed them to sit in between matches as chairs were brought out, but they reportedly spent most of the day standing on their feet. This was described as an exhausting process for the developmental talents who were used for the crowd settings. There’s no word yet on how they may have used different talents for the different shows, but it was noted that the trainees were happy to be there since many of them had been removed from doing anything related to WWE work over the past several weeks. Monday was the first time some of the talents had been inside the WWE Performance Center in a while. Some of the male trainees were used for the show-closing brawl between Bobby Lashley and WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. It was also noted that everyone who entered the Performance Center had their temperatures checked before being allowed to travel to the building, which goes along with the medical testing that has been done at the Performance Center during the COVID-19 outbreak. Talents had their temperatures checked again later on in the tapings.

Not only did WWE use trainees as members of a light crowd at Monday’s tapings, they also brought out Plexiglas that was attached to the top of a taller ringside barrier. PWInsider reports that there was talk of these new barriers being used as the norm going forward for WWE live events when they are allowed to resume standard touring with fans in arenas again. The idea is that this is a way to keep an “invisible barrier” between the audience and the talents as they make their way to the ring and while they are performing.