We here at Stunt Granny think about unique things in unique ways. We try not to put all of our energy into being negative about the wrestlers themselves; we like to be negative about all aspects of wrestling! No, we really do discuss aspects like our favorite and least favorite arenas and crowds, so we collected our thoughts and present this to you.
The Brown County Arena (Green Bay, WI): Maybe it’s because I had a connection with the ticket vendor there and got front row seats each time. Maybe it’s because I prefer County Stadium over Miller Park and am just a mediocre nostalgia nut or something. But I loved going to the Brown County Arena. The good people of Green Bay kept the arena clean, cheered the faces, booed the heels, did all that kind of good stuff that makes it fun to go to a wrestling show. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go downtown… to Green Bay! Long since replaced by the Resch Center, located conveniently right next to the BCA, the memories still linger.
The Skydome (Toronto, Canada): This arena gets a mention again because I was there. The atmosphere for the Hogan vs. Rock match at WrestleMania was so unbelievable, I felt I had to honor the arena it happened in. A moment I will never forget.
The Mid-South Coliseum (Memphis, TN): Jerry Lawler, my choice for best wrestler of all time, was on top there for a million billion years, and it was because of the great fans of Memphis. Southern wrestling fans have always impressed me anyway. They are able to suspend disbelief and get into the action better than people from the north. I’ve seen some old clips of Memphis shows through various sources (my neighbor taping them for me, of course), and it’s the kind of atmosphere I would love for wrestling to still have, but I don’t think it does or will for a long time.
Whatever the hell that dumb place is called in (Anaheim, CA): I don’t care enough to look it up. I’m just going to rant based on blind hatred here. Gas prices are higher in California than they are anywhere else in the United States. Ticket prices are probably through the roof, also. So why would you drive all the way to Shithole Arena to spend god only knows how much on nosebleed seats, so you can sit on your hands for three hours and act like you’re watching the most terrible, boring thing on earth? Working at a call center, I know what kind of terrible Duke Droese-like people live in that state, so it’s not surprising, it’s just disappointing. Pick any show from Shithole Arena in Anaheim and give it a critical viewing. You will see the reactions don’t match up to anything that is taking place in the ring. The action might be really good, exciting, funny, whatever. The crowd will just act like they are being bored to tears and can’t wait to get back in their three miles per gallon Hummers to drive back home. I want to burn this arena down and then the town. Hate.
Amway Arena (Orlando, FL): The home of Royal Rumble 1990, Bash at the Beach 1994 and the WWE Hall of Fame inductions in 2008, I always thought this arena looked great on TV. The former Orlando Arena/TD Waterhouse Arena holds upwards of 18,000 people with its wrestling set-up, and they’re packed into that tall bowl in a way that would make Gorilla “Hanging From the Rafters” Monsoon salivate. And there’s always a total babyface-loving crowd in that place, which means the wrestlers have them eating out of the palms of their hand.
Allstate Arena (Chicago, IL): It’s hard for me to refer to this arena as anything other than the Rosemont Horizon. WWE has a storied history of hosting events in this building, from WrestleMania 2 to Survivor Series 1989, from WrestleManias 13 and 22 to some of the hottest episodes of Monday Night Raw. In fact, my favorite episode of Raw, which aired June 1, 1998 (“You’ll have to face your brother, Kane!”), has that distinction not just for the good angles and Steve Austin on commentary, but also for the white-hot crowd Chicago always draws.
Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium (Spartanburg, SC): This place holds about 1,500 fans and they are louder than both The Pond and Gund Arena combined. You get a small passionate crowd and the atmosphere is incredible. Every event I have been to has been a hot, sweltering, mess of a night that may set wrestling back thirty years but is an intense experience. The floor seats are right on top of the ring and even the bleachers are roughly 80 feet from the ring so no matter where you go you are on top of the action. It makes for an intimate setting and the wrestlers have no choice but to respond to this. Every time there is an event there I go and have yet to be disappointed.
Gund Arena/Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, OH): I despise this place basically because the majority of the fans that fill it are borderline retarded. Having sat through No Way Out surrounded by people who would rather warm their hands than stand and cheer for the first Hardys/Edge and Christian ladder match I can’t like this place. I am sure someone will say that it was just an off night but every event I have attended there has been met with crickets. What a sham of an atmosphere and the blame solely rests with the worst fans in the country of any sport. How Pro-Wrestling Ohio survives this city is beyond me.
The Pond (Anaheim, CA): What a shithole. The fans, again with the fans, dump on every single event they host. You could have heard someone playing the skin flute at the top of the arena during WrestleMania 12’s “Iron Man ” Match. They were treated to a historic contest and a shift in direction for WWE and they did nothing. Then WrestleMania 16 they were comatose for every single match and there were some decent contests. Fuck the people of Anaheim for being shitty fans and ruining not just WrestleMania’s but every damn televised event that come their way. Why bother paying for an event just to sit there?
Caesar’s Palace, The Colosseum (Las Vegas, NV): – This venue was thankfully only used once for Westlemania IX. Let’s start with the WWE’s description of the venue “At the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace recaptures the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome in a resort/casino.” The glory that was Greece? Are you kidding me? You’re at Caesar’s Palace. Caesar was a Roman general before he became an emperor. The original Colosseum is in Rome. That has nothing to do with the Greeks. Get your history right WWE.
Let’s move on to the building itself, The Colosseum. The lazy architects that designed this piece of garbage couldn’t even take out the time to make this look anything like the real thing. The lower arcade should be Doric columns, the second tier should be Ionic Columns and the top arcade should be Corinthian columns. Just so I don’t botch history myself, the Doric and Ionic columns designs were borrowed from the Greeks by the Romans. The Corinthian columns were on the top arcade though to show Rome’s dominance over the previous styles. If the architects had bothered to look at a history book they would have also realized that the Romans had constructed a massive set of sockets on the top band of the Colosseum which held masts to carry the velarium, a canopy of for shade.
As for the event itself, it was as bad as the architecture. The only upside to this event was the debut of Jim Ross. Unfortunately for JR, he didn’t have to wait for their first tour through Oklahoma for Vince to humiliate him. Nothing says classy like wearing a toga that was a better fit on Bluto than on a wrestler announcer at the biggest yearly event in professional wrestling.