As WWE prepares to depart the ThunderDome, Drew McIntyre believes the environment will help the relationship between fans and characters in the long run.
WWE has presented their shows from the ThunderDome during the coronavirus pandemic but announced last week a return to touring, starting in July, that will see live audiences return to the events.
Despite there being no substitute for a live audience to interact with, McIntyre feels having to adapt to the surreal environment the WWE Performance Center and the ThunderDome has provided will help different characters resonate with the fans when they return to live events.
The former WWE champion told the Dallas Morning News: "I watched a few of our talent come out and they were looking at imaginary people and I was like, 'Oh, this is cringeworthy.' If it's cringeworthy for me, there's probably a disconnect with our fans.
"I was very adamant about walking out and embracing what was around me. I would mess around the commentators, if the camera got too close, I'd shake it around. I kept trying different things.
"When it came to the interviews themselves, obviously we generally have 20,000 people screaming over top of you and you have to raise your voice and a lot of them are shouting because you are trying to hear yourself over the crowd and you're participating with the crowd and going with what they're giving you. Sometimes, they're giving you the 'What' treatment and trying to entertain themselves when you're talking so you have to deviate from the script.
"Without fans, it's just silence and it makes things very different. I saw it as an opportunity. If you know who you are and you know your character, you had a chance to develop that character on such a deeper level and add layers. You can speak without having to raise your voice.
"A lot of people really maximized their minutes and developed their character. When we're back in front of live fans on a regular basis, I think the fans are going to understand these characters on a deeper level than they would have if we didn't have this period."