Jimmy Korderas was a WWE referee for 22 years and worked numerous WrestleManias. But this WrestleMania will be different as it won’t take place in front of a live crowd, or any crowd.
Korderas discussed if he thinks it’s the right call to go on with WrestleMania when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
„Two schools of thought: I get putting it on hold for a little but at the same time wrestling is different from regular sports where you can put it on hold and the standing are gonna stay the same. Wrestling is different because it’s a storytelling entertainment property and the story has to continue. Wrestling is 52 weeks a year so to put it on hold is a little harder,“ said Korderas. „If you were to postpone WrestleMania to June or July, it’s more difficult to keep those storylines in place. If you postpone it for three months, you may have to take a U-turn and start something completely different.
„That being said, having WrestleMania in an empty venueperception is sometimes reality and you see it in a big stadium and people see it and say, ‘Oh, that looks impressive.’ Now it’s gonna be different and I feel bad for the talent like a Drew McIntyre who will have his moment without the crowd being there to absorb that moment.“
While nearly every other sport has suspended play in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, WWE has proceeded on in empty arenas to the dismay of some. Korderas was asked to contrast a WWE Superstar contracting the virus with the creative headache that would come if WWE suspended operations.
„It is a risk but here’s a company that instituted a Wellness Policy when no other wrestling company had one. I can only guess they will take every possible precaution to put the talent’s safety as their main priority,“ stated Korderas. „But at the same time, it is so difficult. I can’t see them for lack of a better term putting dollars and sense ahead of the safety of their talent. I’m sure they’re doing their best to keep their talent as safe as possible. I’m hoping so.“
AEW is also holding crowdless shows but unlike WWE, they aren’t building towards an event on the scale of WrestleMania. Korderas discussed if it’s wise for AEW to be moving forward with no crowd shows.
„They are in a different boat because they are still relatively new. They honeymoon stage may be over with so for them to take a hiatus, they would take a harder hit than the WWE would because they don’t have an established footprint yet,“ said Korderas who was then asked about AEW proceeding with a match titled „Blood & Guts.“
„If I was to put something on hold, I would rethink that particular match. Also, be honest with your audience because it works. Say that in the current climate, we don’t feel this is the right time to present this match. When the climate is right, we will come back and have this match.“
Prior to what was supposed to be the airing of Blood & Guts, Tony Khan essentially said what Korderas said and AEW has delayed the Blood & Guts match.
Korderas last worked for WWE in 2009 and he currently works for Sportsnet in Canada. He was asked if he would accept the invite to come back and work some of these no crowd shows.
„Interesting. As much as I would love to go back, in this current situation I would think twice and probably say that I would prefer not to travel,“ revealed Korderas.
Lio Rush has stated that he doesn’t feel comfortable working right now but many veteran Superstars such as John Cena, Steve Austin and The Undertaker have been front and center on WWE programming since the move to crowdless shows. Korderas was asked about Rush’s comments and what message these veterans are sending younger guys.
„I commend him for speaking his mind. If that’s the way he honestly feels, then good for him for feeling that way,“ Korderas said of Rush. „If you look at guys like Austin and Cena and Taker, they are locker room leaders who lead by example and there’s your prime example right there. I don’t think they’re doing it at the behest of the company as I think they are islands unto themselves. Trust me, if those guys didn’t want to show up then they would say something.
„I think they’re trying to show the talent that this is what we do and we’re okay with it. At the same time, if they are talking to the locker they would say if you’re not feeling comfortable, then say so. Speak up. With that being said, I think you can see that message has been laid out there because how many talents have we seen on the shows so far? They haven’t been overly inundated with a lot of talent live at the venue.“
You can following Jimmy Korderas on Twitter @jimmykorderas. Jimmy’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a today’s episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.