Beleaguered pro wrestling company Impact Wrestling (formerly known as TNA Wrestling) was taping in India last week, and tickets didn't come cheap! And by that, we mean they didn't come cheap for Impact and their partners, Indian sports channel Sony Six. According to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, fans were paid 250-400 rupees for attending the event. The crowd of roughly 500 people were also told who to cheer and who to boo, as indicated by which side of the stage wrestlers entered from. Even group activities like performing the wave were choreographed, according to Meltzer.
Of course, direction is often given to live audiences for TV shows, through applause signs and coaching from producers for everything from sitcoms to late night talk shows, and in the U.S., while audiences are not usually paid, tickets are often free. It is unusual to tell the crowd who to cheer and boo for a live sporting event, however, which is what pro wrestling wants to mimic in its presentation, though some would probably view doing so as a good idea, based on modern fans' propensity to cheer for the bad guys and boo the good guys.
Meanwhile, in his office in Stamford, CT, right now, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is demanding that someone look into moving the WWE to India full time, muttering to himself about "making Roman look strong."