Before winning the WWE Championship in September 2021, Big E entered that respective year as WWE’s Intercontinental Champion. During a recent episode of the “Sarah O’Connell Show,” Big E looked back on the beginning of this Intercontinental Championship reign, focusing in on the fact that it took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — a time when WWE Superstars performed in front of a virtual board of fans.
“[The atmosphere was] very weird,” Big E said. “Really the foundation of our industry, of our business, is really about crowd interaction. You can have an hour match, but if no one is making a sound, if they’re sitting on their hands, you failed. That’s always what we have been taught as pro wrestlers. It’s about engaging the crowd, it’s about making them cheer. It’s about making them boo. Now, we’re in this environment where that’s not possible. We just have screens in front of us, and now you’re also worried about COVID, which is ravaging the world. It was a very interesting time.”
Despite being void of a physical live audience, Big E and many of his colleagues eventually found unique ways to compensate for it. In an idea brought forth by Jimmy and Jey Uso, some superstars, including Big E, began elevating their volume in the ring, so much so that fans would be able to hear their mid-match conversations.
Big E’s second Intercontinental Championship reign started when he defeated Sami Zayn in a lumberjack match on the December 25, 2020 episode of “WWE SmackDown.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit “Sarah O’Connell Show” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.