Empty arena at WrestleMania 36 a callback to Becky Lynch's wrestling roots

Why Becky Lynch doesn't mind wrestling without fans at Wrestlemania 36 (2:18)

Becky Lynch tells Ariel Helwani that she is used to wrestling without fans considering her time with independent promotions before WWE. (2:18)

The circumstances around WrestleMania 36 are highly unusual. Due to the enhanced restrictions regarding crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event was moved from Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. WWE also decided to split the event into two nights, April 4 and 5. There will be no fans in attendance on either night, just essential personnel.

Becky Lynch headlined WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium, defeating Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair to win both women's championships in front of a crowd of more than 82,000 people.

When she returns to action on next weekend's show and defends the WWE Raw women's championship against Shayna Baszler, the scene will be drastically different, but Lynch says she's been in this situation before.

"I came from the independent circuit, so I'm used to wrestling in front of nobody," Lynch said to ESPN's Ariel Helwani. "I wrestled somewhere in Kilkenny in Ireland -- wrestling in front of seven people.

"And I almost think that might be worse because you can hear what they are saying. You might hear some disrespectful comments from time to time."

Lynch, who believes her match will likely be on the first night of the WrestleMania broadcast, has become one of the industry's top faces -- wrestlers whom crowds cheer for -- and much of her persona is dependent on the support of those around her.

"I'm somebody who has fed off the energy of the crowd so much, and it's been my connection with the crowd that has gotten me to where I am and I know that without those people I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing.

"It's a different shift in your brain," Lynch continued. "Like you have to use a different part of you because you know that at the other end of it there's millions of people watching. So you have to connect to them differently.

"You're not going to get that same gratification that you go out in front of an audience and they let you know how well you are doing, how well you're not doing -- and they're responding to you constantly. There's less self-gratification, but more concentration of the nuances and what your message is. Why do I want people to care about why I'm going to mess Shayna Baszler up so much?"

In addition to removing fans from the equation, the WWE has gone to great lengths to try to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus while filming their shows over the past few weeks at the WWE Performance Center, according to Lynch.

"I didn't have any concerns for myself," Lynch said after being asked about Roman Reigns' decision to withdraw from the card. "We've settled on a very hygienic system and really limited the amount of people that are there. I think the only thing that I'm very conscientious of is now that we're back, and when we come back, that we just isolate ourselves for a couple of weeks to make sure we don't have any symptoms before we go out in the world again."

Staff has also been limited in Orlando, far different from a typical WrestleMania operation.

"They are staggering everything. If you don't have a reason to be there, then get the hell out of there. You're not there. If you have a match or a segment, you're there with a minimal amount of crew to shoot it, then when you come in your temperature is taken, questionnaire is filled out and the doctors are there to meet you as soon as you walk into the building."

WWE has looked at this WrestleMania as a way to provide an outlet for those at home looking for some new entertainment. For all the wrestlers on the card, it's clear they understand the challenge and hope to provide a moment away from the virus-related news around the world.

"They need more entertainment," said Lynch. "They need a little bit of distraction for a few hours, or a few minutes, whatever it is."