WWE Hall of Famer and co-host of Busted Open Radio Mark Henry recently discussed the 'social distancing' joke that Shawn Michaels made on WWE SmackDown this past Friday. HBK would make a joke during the 25th Anniversary segment with Triple H, asking him not to hug him because of social distancing and then keeping their space in the ring. "Is it too soon?" Henry began on Busted Open.
Henry would elaborate further, saying how he understands the emotional aspects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and why some fans might be upset by Michaels' comments. "Is it too soon? People need...I know people are suffering, financially. I know there's people that are emotionally distraught because they have lost people and they can't go and be there for them dying. It's a lot of stuff that's going on that's got people on edge. And that they're not...they're not ready to laugh at it yet."
The World's Strongest Man also asked those same fans to keep faith in WWE, saying that pro wrestling as a whole is "essential" to the fans who need it. This was alluding to the recent decision to allow WWE to continue taping programming as it fell under the 'essential media' services banner earlier this month. AEW are also continuing to tape their shows, although the backlash online does not appear to be as prevalent for the upstart company in Jacksonville as it currently is for WWE.
"And what I say to those people?" Henry continued. "For the same reason that we still have pro wrestling, is why we're trying to get away from not having pro wrestling. The whole world is pretty much shut down, but pro wrestling still exists. It is still on television live, three days a week, and not just WWE, there's AEW. Not just the WWE, and there's some people who are gonna hate on that. Because it has nothing to do with them. But for all the people that rely on pro wrestling as a form of entertainment to get them through this tough time? Yeah. It's essential. It is highly essential. And I don't expect everybody to agree because everybody doesn't agree on anything...except bacon."
There's still a lot of issues surrounding pro wrestling companies and their decision to run tapings during the pandemic and lockdown procedures. Also it is not clear if WWE will in fact be recording live going forward or they will be able to adhere to the taping schedule they currently have in place, plans seem to be changing by the day.
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM's Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.