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Where you been for wrestling?!


Craig H
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I have to say that some of my best venue memories are in bars/clubs for various indies. Very intimate, crowds are often rowdy, and you can get a drink. Michael's TWA used to run a rodeo bar here in San Antonio that was just fantastic. I really liked going to the Flagstaff for ECW as well. You never knew what was going to happen-- both in good ways and bad.

 

That being said, Arena Mexico was the coolest place I've ever seen a show. Sightlines were great, there were vendors all around the building selling cool bootleg stuff, and you could feel the history in every seat. 

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I was eighteen years old and never really traveled once when two friends and I decided to go to Wrestlemania X7. We couldn't afford plane tickets so we took a greyhound from Maryland to Houston and back. The trip was 36 hours each way and was the worst thing I have ever gone through. So many crazy people on that bus.

 

A year later I went to Toronto for Wrestlemania X8. First time out of the country and found one of my favorite cities. I have since gone back to Toronto twice.

 

First time on a plane was going to Seattle for Wrestlemania 19. Wasn't old enough for a rental car at the time so I didn't get to explore the city as much as I would have liked. Maybe someday I will get back there.

 

Went to Wrestlemania 20-25 so got to experience a ton of great cities like L.A, Chicago and Detroit. Took a few years off but went to Mania 29 and 30.

 

New Orleans was the top city I had wanted to go to that I never went to and it definitely delivered. Bourbon Street after Wrestlemania was one of the craziest scenes I have been a part of. The alligator tour was pretty sweet as well.

 

Crazy to sit back and think about all the places I have gone over the years to see wrestling. Over ten different states, two countries and many miles traveled.

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Los Angeles (3 WrestleReunions feat 2 ROH shows, 3 PWG shows, 1 DGUSA show & 1 Highspots show)
Reliant Stadium (WM 25)

Houston Convention Center (ROH WM 25 weekend shows)

Georgia Dome (WM 27)

Sunlife Stadium (WM 28)
Miami WrestleCon (DGUSA, Highspots legends show)
Secaucus, New Jersey WrestleCon (DGUSA, Evolve, Chikara, Shimmer, Kaiji Big Battle)
Met-Life Stadium (WM 29)
Wells Fargo Center (MITB 2013)
Superdome (WM 30)
Pennsylvania Nat'l Guard Armory (ROH Midnight Express Reunion & 1st Nat'l Pro Wrestling Day)
Greensboro Coliseum (multiple house shows & TV's, Unforgiven 98 PPV)
Dorton Arena (1 house show, January 1990: Horsemen vs. J-Tex cage match)
PNC Arena (Angle vs. Lesnar Smackdown iron man match)
Charlotte Coliseum (Starrcade '93)
Knoxville Civic Center (SMW Superbowl of Wrestling)
South-Atlantic Pro at a mall opening in Charlotte with Vince Torelli & Chris Chavis
More school gyms, rec centers and armories than I can count
 

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I was thinking after posting about how many friends I made because of wrestling and it is pretty insane.

The McDonalds I worked at burned down so I was transferred to another one. A dude there was kind of a jerk but one day in the break room and he was watching Wresflemania 12. Ten years later I introduced him to his wife. Without our shared love of wrestling, two kids would not exist.

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i haven't been too far for wrestling.

 

the iWireless Center / Mark of the Quad Cities (in Moline, IL) for a number of Raws and a SmackDown (including a WWECW show)
Allstate Arena in Chicago Rosemont, IL for WrestleMania 22
Ford Field in Detroit for WM23

and the local Knights of Columbus hall for a very, very shitty indy that i don't believe has been back since.

edit: apparently they have been back a few times since and i guess just slipped my radar.

 

unless you count my backyard, there were a good number of wrestling matches that took place there. someday, they may actually even make it to YouTube.

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1) Madison Square Garden (my favorite, saw WrestleMania 10 there when I was just a young pup, Survivor Series 2002, Royal Rumble 2008 and plenty of house shows and a Raw during the Attitude Era)

2) Nassau Coliseum (my least favorite, in part at least due to my fellow Long Islanders being horrendous wrestling fans, SummerSlam 2002 not withstanding)

3) The New Yorker Hotel (ROH's first Manhattan venue and my favorite ROH venue ever. It was tight, small and I doubt could fit 1,000 people in there, but you were super close to the action, the fans were always hot and because it was such a small building, the noise was always at another level)

4) The Grand Ballroom and Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center for ROH shows. Both were cool venues although it sucked having to walk what felt like 30 flights of stairs to the Grand Ballroom

5) Basketball City at one of the Pier's for a few ROH shows. Not a great venue. Never had the energy of the New Yorker or even the Manhattan Center

6) Sports Plus on Long Island (15 minutes at most from my house) again for some ROH shows. See my gripe about the Coliseum for my gripe about Sports Plus

7) The place where NYWC runs their shows but for an ROH show because Sports Plus closed and killed off a part of my childhood too

8) The minor league ballpark in Buffalo for the Ballpark Brawl in 2003. It was fun for what it was

9) The Rex Plex in New Jersey. I'm biased towards this place because it was pretty much the NJ version of Sports Plus and it was also the place where I first saw ROH live. Got to see At Our Best and also the second night of Liger's tour in 2004. 

 

Not sure if I'm missing any.

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