CLEVELAND (WJW)– After 18 long months, fans in Cleveland welcomed the return of WWE Smackdown to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse Friday night.
This was the first major live indoor event without any capacity restrictions since the pandemic began.
“There is nothing like having that live barometer. That’s what we think of the fans. They are there to tell you instantly if something is good, if they love it or if they hate it. And that is what I love, that immediate feedback of what we do,” said Big-E, WWE Superstar.
The wrestling stars said they were ready to rumble in front of live fans.
“I will never take our WWE universe for granted again. Not that we did. But over the last year and a half, not having fans was challenging,” said Natalya, WWE Superstar.
Perhaps no one was more pumped than Northeast Ohio native Dolph Ziggler.
“I’ve been doing this 17 years and when you are in the back and the lights go down and the music comes up, the hair on your arms go straight up. We got a little spoiled from doing that every night. We took it for granted,” said Ziggler, WWE Superstar.
At the arena, face masks were optional, but encouraged for those who are not vaccinated.
Cleveland was just the fourth stop of Smackdown’s summer tour.