Good Morning: The show must go on

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

Over the past year, people have worked hard to return things to normal, to return things to pre-COVID, as much as possible. In some cases, this has taken the form of holding long-standing events and traditions in new ways during the ongoing pandemic.

I always wonder how some of these events can still go on — and in some cases, organizers find a way. That was the case with the WWE, who held their annual Royal Rumble show this past weekend.

I've written in the past that I am a fan of professional wrestling, and one of my favorite events each year is WWE's Royal Rumble, which will take place next weekend. The event, which happens every January, has become likely the company's second largest event of the year and a fan favorite.

The event gets its name from the titular Royal Rumble match, which often serves as the main event. The rumble features 30 or more competitors, with only two starting in the ring at the beginning of the match. Every 90 seconds or so, another competitor will enter the match.

Wrestlers are eliminated if they are thrown over the top rope and both of their feet touch the ground, a rule stipulation that has come into play multiple times in the past. The last competitor standing traditionally wins a shot at one of the major titles.

It is always a favorite because it showcases so much of the talent in one place. Then, there is always the surprise returns that the  show promises.

My friends always make a game out of the match, as we all draw numbers to see who our entrant will be and if any of us win. This year, I drew a longshot with entrant number one, long-timer Edge.

In order to win, he needed to last the entire match, and he did just that.

While I am certainly happy to see the show again, part of me deep down wondered how they were able to do it. With so many moving parts to the event, I didn't see how they could put it on.

With no live audience, there are some tricks up the sleeves of showrunners that I didn't immediately think of. I think some of the entrances were shot prior to the match and edited in, as an example.

Sports and sports entertainment have made many changes over the past year to keep the show alive. Live audiences are smaller, if they are there at all.

Last year baseball stadiums were filled with cardboard cutouts. The WWE itself filled its arenas with television monitors with videos of fans watching live, complete with piped in crowd noises.

At the end of the day, I suppose where there is a will, there is a way.