In the past week, both SummerSlam and the episode of WWE Raw following SummerSlam at the Barclays Center were beset by a plague of beach balls. This isn’t the first time fans have brought beach balls to a WWE event in hopes of thoroughly distracting themselves and the wrestlers during a show. The episodes of Raw immediately after WrestleMania, for example, are notoriously filled with fans who are more interested in being paid attention to than paying attention to the show, and they’ve batted around their share of balls before.
But SummerSlam was the first time that a wrestler was provoked into doing something about the beach balls themselves. While Sheamus and Cesaro were tearing it up in the ring during their tag team title defense against Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, the crowd briefly got distracted by a beach ball. When the ball landed in the ringside area, Cesaro leaped into the seats and grabbed it, then tore it to smithereens. It was glorious.
Sadly, not only did the fans not learn their lesson on Sunday, but the beach balls really got out of hand during a match on Raw between Finn Bálor and Jason Jordan. There were reports of up to 10 beach balls in the crowd during this match, and things … did not go well in the match, as a result.
Basically, it’s just a terrible idea to do this, and I blame Dodger Stadium fans for starting that trend. But at least baseball isn’t ENTIRELY DEPENDENT on the crowd in order to effectively tell a story. Wrestling … is. Thankfully, although John Cena joked with the crowd off-camera about their right to have fun with their balls, WWE clamped down on things as early as the following evening.
According to PWInsider, WWE and Barclays Center put a ban on beach balls for fans coming into the building for Smackdown Live on Tuesday night. Not just beach balls, either: all pool accessories. Pool noodles, floaties, those rafts shaped like a slice of pizza, you name it. I, for one, approve of this pool-themed ban. Everyone out of the pool, as it were.
PWI notes that it’s likely this ban will remain effective for WWE events going forward. You had your fun, everyone. Time to dry off and get changed, your mom will be here to pick you up soon.