WWE fans are accusing the company of editing in fake crowd noise during Monday Night Raw in order to manufacture enthusiasm for Roman Reigns.
After August 15th’s Raw, a video emerged on 420chan’s “wooo” board made by a user trying to prove that the Roman Reigns vs. Rusev match was heavily edited and that the live crowd was not cheering for Reigns as much as they seemed to be on the live broadcast.
The video starts off with audio of a person’s cheers apparently being repeated multiple times throughout the match. The audio clips certainly sound similar, although it could easily just be the same person cheering in the same way a few times. Next there are two instances when a “Roman!” chant seems to start out of nowhere without building up like chants normally do. The videomaker speculates that this is an example of a prerecorded cheer being faded in, although in the full clip it’s less sudden.
There’s also an instance where it sounds as if the crowd all yells “one” too early, as if that audio had been recorded and was dropped in a second too soon.
The video concludes with the most interesting piece of evidence suggesting that what was happening in the room wasn’t quite what was broadcast on television: at one point in the match, Rusev grabs the microphone and tells the crowd to keep cheering for him. This is an odd comment to make if the audience has been cheering for Roman Reigns the whole time, as appeared to be the case on TV. Rusev’s comment could have been sarcastic, or, as this video alleges, it could be an indication that the crowd had been cheering for Rusev against Reigns and that this was kept out of the live broadcast.
Since this video began to spread in wrestling circles, fans have been fiercely debating how accurate it is. Fake crowd noise has in the past been added into SmackDown, but that was when the show was pretaped; doing so on a live broadcast is much more challenging. But this video fits in with the feeling some fans have that the WWE has been desperately trying to push Roman Reigns as a face, even when he is so strongly disliked by many viewers.
On the other hand, others feel that some of the points in the video are stretching it a bit, arguing that at best the WWE may have slightly altered the audio levels during the live taping rather than actually piping in precorded cheers.
“I’ve worked in audio engineering for years and a bit of live sound too and there really didn’t seem to be any blatant fake crowd noise in this match,” one Reddit user observed. “It would be an absolute pain in the ass to try to mix in canned cheers during a live match like this.”
Since returning from suspension, Roman Reigns has been feuding with Rusev over the United States Championship title. They went at it last night on Raw, with Rusev trying to defend his wife’s honor after Reigns interrupted their wedding ceremony last week. The two will have a match with the U.S. Championship on the line at SummerSlam on Sunday.