Hugo Savinovich has been in the wrestling industry for over 40 years as a wrestler, manager and commentator. But he's never seen anything like the current coronavirus pandemic.
He talked about pro wrestling taking place in front of no fans when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"It's something that I guess our boys and girls never thought they would have to go through. Their mind got into a rhythm of almost every week performing in front of thousands of people. Your mind, the way you register and your ring psychology, everything is set up for that audience," said Savinovich. "Now, you practically lack the identity because no matter how great you are, when that bell rings and there's nobody there to let you know what's going on with your storyline, it's like going into the ocean and not being a good swimmer.
"There's just a few people that could do this in front of an empty arena. Not too many guys and girls are capable, and it's not their fault, it's just that that's part of our in-ring experience."
During this period, some WWE Superstars are getting more TV time than ever before such as Zelina Vega's stable of Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory. Savinovich discussed the work this group has been doing.
"I believe it's really good but the problem is no audience. Then, you set the storyline where they're going against Drew [McIntyre] and automatically you know he's the champion who went through Brock Lesnar, so it's a big double disadvantage. There's no audience and you can smell the storyline. So, it takes away that feeling of jeopardy of the champion," said Savinovich.
He then talked about the size of McIntyre and how it took him over 10 years to reach the top spot. Those factors make it hard to take the title off him.
"It's very tough for the Spanish talent who, by the way, aren't really taken care of creatively. If creative is a problem, then you can imagine what the Spanish stars are going through because they suffer the most. Even when I was working for Vince, they did not know how our culture thinks and they don't understand the Spanish product," admitted Savinovich. "A lot of the people now in power positions are more catering to American markets and the rest of the world. Spanish talent has always been very successful yet they have never really paid too much attention to it."
Not only does Savinovich think Vega's crew is at a disadvantage against McIntyre, but he also believes that Brock Lesnar should have never dropped the title to McIntyre. He was asked how he would have set up the storyline.
"I would have done something where Drew almost came out with the championship but somehow a big thing happened where he didn't become the champion. I would have done it where CM Punk came in and destroyed the dreams of Drew and somehow Brock managed to come out with the championship," stated Savinovich.
"At the same time, you would have introduced someone that is loved, hated and is controversial and has so many storylines with the McMahon Family. I think if Vince was able to spend almost a billion dollars on the XFL, then you have the check to hire Punk and his wife. That would have been the right time as Brock would have escaped with the title and Drew would have an angle with CM Punk for a few months. Then he would go after the McMahons for a year-and-a-half. Then you do Drew and Lesnar where there had to be a winner and you crown him the champion."
Savinovich said that creative is horrible with all of the major promotions including WWE, AEW, ROH, Impact and NJPW. He said Triple A is refreshing at the moment because there is a lot of action and you see some AEW talent battling AAA talent.
"At least there, it's not telegraphed where you know who is gonna win. It's so refreshing that they're still able to shock you. Right now in our wrestling industry, you more or less see the beginning and know how it's gonna end," said Savinovich.
As the Spanish commentator for Triple A, Savinovich was asked how Mexico is handling pro wrestling during the pandemic.
"I haven't returned. But what they're doing is live on Facebook with a lucha fighter from an empty arena studio," said Savinovich. "They've got great numbers and the fans do the voting for the matches they wanna see for this four-week tournament. The wrestlers have a mask and gloves. There are two announcers but they're not sitting together. The action is really good with the exception of the main event, and I'm gonna call it the way I see it regardless if I'm under contract or not.
"They had Drago vs. Psycho Clown and the match was just too short. It was kind of a WWE idea where the main event has been going on too long. Man, when you have two guys who can cover the fact that there's no audience and they give you 100 percent of action, I felt it should have gone on for four more minutes. I let the owners and Konnan know. He explained to me that they hadn't been wrestling and it was a one-on-one…
"The guys had not been constantly wrestling and if you do lucha Mexican style, you've gotta deliver. Those guys and girls go with so much agility and speed that they burn a lot of energy. So, he wanted to make sure that their lack of action, didn't show bad on that first show."
Hugo Savinovich will be retiring from pro wrestling in February of 2025. To watch Hugo's emotional retirement announcement video please click HERE. Hugo's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.