My wife and I went and saw the latest NXT TakeOver in Chicago last weekend. We had pretty decent seats and the action was amazing. The crowd was hot, not to mention the arena, from the beginning to the end. I barely had a voice the next morning; I think I blew it out right away during the ‘Adam Cole Bay-Bay’ spot. It wasn’t until after we’d gotten home that I realized I was in one of my wrestling meccas.
It had slipped my mind that one of my favorite matches of all time had taken place in the Allstate Area. The Stone Cold Steve Austin/Bret Hart submission match from Wrestlemania 13 took place there. It’s one of the matches I watch at least once a year and is one of the various matches that cemented me as a fan. I got to sit in the arena where Austin bled the WWF into a new era. It got me to thinking about the various other important arenas that have influenced me over the years. Going back quite a ways is the Dallas Sportatorium where World Class Championship Wrestling called home. Madison Square Garden, although I was outside of it in 2017 for a brief moment, where a lot of the old WWF shows took place. The ECW Arena still exists, but I probably won’t ever make my way there. More recently is the American Legion Hall in Reseda, CA where Pro Wrestling Guerrilla made their home for almost 10 years which seems to have been sold.
Is it the building or the crowd that it attracts that makes or breaks a show? I live in Green Bay, WI and we’re pretty much known for being one of the dirt worst crowds for Raw and Smackdown, but if you go 100 miles south to Milwaukee the crowds there are great. Every time I’ve been to Turner Hall for any wrestling, the crowd has been super hyped from bell to bell. You would think Green Bay would be better since we have the Packers, but maybe we’re just not a wrestling town?
There are two places I’d love to go to: New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome and I’d love to see Progress Wrestling at the Electric Ballroom. So I ask of you, dear reader, what are your wrestling meccas? Where would you like to have gone to see a show or where would you still like to go?