In a year where the WWE’s other spiritual home, Madison Square Garden has learned that it will be soon be moving locations, I’ve been thinking a lot about the arenas that have housed the biggest moments in wrestling history. Since Madison Square Garden is getting its own WWE DVD, I decided to take a closer look at the WWE’s official home for the biggest party of the summer, the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Opened in 1999, the Staples Center has always been a hotbed of WWE activity, despite also being the home of the LA Lakers, LA Clippers and the LA Kings.
15. Raw: April 3rd 2000 – The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship
The first big WWE event in the Staples Center was an episode of Raw broadcast the night after Wrestlemania 2000, which according to JR sold out in 11 minutes. This Raw would host the fallout from the night before, where Triple H retained his WWF Title in a four-way match that also included the Rock, Big Show and Mick Foley. In typical Vince McMahon fashion, he wasted no time in running down the Los Angeles audience for being false just like Hollywood, which would becoming a running WWE insult for almost every return to LA that came after it.
In response to Vince costing the Rock the title 24 hours earlier, the three male members of the McMahon family each wanted a match against the Rock. Eventually the match ended up being the Rock vs Shane, but the Rock overcame the odds, even though he somehow won by pinning Triple H instead of Shane. The match of the night however was the 5 minute opener in which Chris Jericho dropped the European Title to Eddie Guerrero after Chyna finally succumbed to Eddie’s “Latino Heat.”
Elsewhere on the card, Road Dogg and X-Pac beat T and A, after Road Dogg alleged that Trish actually has an ass like Rikishi under her coat. Chris Benoit beat Tazz in a short but sweet Intercontinental Title match. Big Show debuted a more fun loving, Hollywood inspired persona in a DQ win against Rikishi where he even used the Worm. Crash regained his Hardcore Title against Hardcore Holly after hiring the APA; Kurt Angle beat Val Venis and Kane pinned Bull Buchanan. All in all, a good start for the WWE in what would become one of their favourite arenas to visit.
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