Erick Rowan's last WWE match took place just before the pandemic and then he was released a month later. So, he didn't get to experience wrestling in no-crowd arenas like many of his peers. Even with that, he longs for crowds to be back in arenas and wants to return to the ring when there are fans as he said on The Ryback Show.
"Oh definitely, but you can never say never especially with what we do and especially with… It seems like so many companies are trying to start up with no fans. I saw New Japan – even though they can't bring in any foreigners, they're still trying to do separate projects. One in the US and one Japan and they try to do… I think I saw ROH is going to start back up in a closed studio. I think I read something about NWA is doing another closed studio production," said Rowan. "They got AEW closed studio; WWE [the same]. It's like there are so many things to do. How much money is really being made? I don't know."
These no-crowd shows has led to WWE experimenting with different types of matches like the cinema matches we've seen recently. Rowan shared his thoughts on watching wrestling without fans in attendance.
"I mean, obviously I watch some things because there's people that I worked a lot with and I got to check out what they're doing. But yeah, like some things are very unique and interesting in this time and there are some things that are very bad. But this has been the same with the product since always," stated Rowan. "Some things are really good for one person and some things are really bad. Some people might have liked that Swamp Fight Match that Braun and Bray had. Some people might not like it at all.
"It all depends. Like The Undertaker's [Boneyard Match] – there's no way that's the sendoff. There's no way that's the proper sendoff. But maybe it is."
With nine years in WWE, Rowan made some pretty good friends along the way and he talked about who he was closest to in the locker room.
"I always loved The Ascension guys. I use to ride with Konnor a lot. Obviously, Brodie. Big E, I was really close with and I got along with everybody. I never had a bad experience with anybody because at the end of the day, we're all fighting each other and we're all taking care of each other in the ring. You have to have that trust with everybody you worked and if you don't have that trust, then I'm not going to work you," said Rowan.
There haven't been rumors of what promotion Rowan could end up with next but he is taking indie bookings. He was asked if he's had any offers since his release from WWE.
"I might have somebody to reach out a little bit to talk about some stuff, but nothing set in stone. To me, I'm just trying to enjoy the quarantine life a little bit while I'm at home, spending time with the family as much as possible. Whenever anything does come up with wrestling, I'm not going to automatically say, 'No, I'm not going to do that.' But it has to be the right thing for me," stated Rowan.
"But yeah, I'm just excited to have the world open up and being able to work in front of people again. Obviously, I've seen other sides of things I want to pursue as I don't really feel like signing no contract that's going to lock me down anywhere and not be able to do other things. That would be a huge takeaway for me because I want to see what else is out there. But as far as to wrestling goes, I still have fun like I was in the ring for a few hours the other day, just having fun, taking unnecessary bumps when I didn't have to."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Ryback Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.