Everyone will remember 2020. Every section of the sports and entertainment industry has been affected by the COVID pandemic. Even though this years wrestling has been the most memorable, some parts should be erased when this year is looked back on. Here are the most regrettable things about the past twelve months.
WWE Still travelled to Saudi Arabia
Back in February 2020, fans were still allowed in arenas and travel was unrestricted! Unfortunately, this meant that WWE was still allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia to hold their Bi-annual PPV shows. The political controversies alone make these shows an issue. But even without the political issues, the show in isolation was terrible. Brock Lesnar squashed Ricochet and killed his momentum until further notice. And then there was the main event. One of the best things about 2019 was The debut of The Fiend. One of the most captivating characters in recent memory. Then Goldberg came along. Goldberg no-sold all the mind games and just pinned Bray Wyatt with a botched Jackhammer. Many fans have claimed this to be one of (if not the) worst PPV event of all time.
Profit before performers
April 15th 2020. Also known to WWE fans as Black Wednesday. Around 40% of performers, producers and other backstage staff were released from their contract. With no live wrestling operating and limited spaces on other brands, this left many people jobless and wondering where to go next to pay the bills. When WWE also announces record profits for the year, this left a sour taste in many fans mouths and caused a substantial backlash on the internet wrestling community.
Literal Ownership of names
With live events halting and TV spaces limited, superstars needed to make extra money. Many main roster talent chose to utilise Twitch and Cameo to earn the money they would have made during a normal year. Then WWE found out how much they were making and forced a shutdown. Superstars had to hand over their accounts to remain employed. The Trinidad (formerly Zelina Vega), decided against this and was released from the company.
The Fall of Keith Lee
Back in Survivor Series 2019, Keith Lee looked destined for greatness. Lee took Roman Reigns to the limit in the elimination match. While he did win the NXT championship, his reign was short due to a quick call up to the main roster. When Keith arrived, his entrance music was changed, his ring gear was changed, and most of his matches ended in non finishes. No one backstage would let Keith Lee wrestle in the way that made him so unique. Lee now feels like just another member of the RAW roster, and we all know he is so much more than that. Possibly one of the worst NXT call ups ever seen.
Preventable and Non-Preventable injuries
It’s not ballet, accidents happen. While Karrion Kross, Jimmy Uso and Chelsea Green’s injuries were all occupational hazards, look at Matt Hardy. Repeatedly placed in dangerous and avoidable situations that ended badly. Concussion fears and blood loss caused many to question some of the spots in AEW. Here is hoping all injured superstars recover well.
The Whole Pandemic
Whether it’s Wrestlemania with no fans, superstars stuck in their home countries due to travel bans, or the politics behind it all. Somehow, WWE has not missed a single show this year due to the global pandemic. Florida deemed wrestling an “essential business.” This caused many fans and non-fans to raise an eyebrow or just point and laugh at the whole situation. While the March 13th episode was novel and unique, the empty arena shows became unwatchable very quick. There are no fans for superstars to play off of, and some stars can’t or won’t return until things are normal. Hopefully in 2021, some sense of normality will be seen.