Wrestling Inc. has learned that the move to the newly renovated Capitol Wrestling Center was due in part to the recent renovations and desire for live fans to return. Full Sail wasn't going to allow fans and NXT wanted to proceed with fans, which we reported last week.
This is being looked at as a "refresh" for NXT. A new set with LED boards and the return of fans with some talent as well in the crowd. There has been talk, but no acknowledgment publicly, that AEW continues to beat NXT in the ratings and the 18-49 demographic each week. The notion is the "fans" are what makes NXT unique. Having a fresh start in a renovated building, featuring a new set and live fans in attendance, will give NXT a rejuvenation to what it once had before the Pandemic.
All fans in attendance have to pass a COVID-19 screening, temperature check and questionnaire to attend. Masks must be worn at all times.
Wrestling Inc. was told that that fans will be in pods at the show, which will be similar to the pods used in the Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler feud in 2011. These are custom built. Each group that arrives will be taken separately from everyone else to their pod prior to the start of the show. The same procedure will be used when exiting afterwards. Fans will not intermingle with any NXT talent.
In the weeks and months to come, barring any positive COVID-19 test results, they will increase capacity. The understanding is by the start of the New Year, management is hopeful to have fans sitting in chairs and stands with a somewhat back to normal feeling to the show. This is not publicly being talked about, in case of setbacks. There is a direction in place with an end goal in mind.
It was noted these next few weeks of bringing live fans back will be crucial as these are the just the first steps in getting to where they want to be in 2021.
As noted earlier, WWE posted a sneak peak of the Capitol Wrestling Center, which you can check out below: