Arena Report - Mellon Arena
WWE returns to the Steel City tonight for a live broadcast of Monday Night RAW. The Mellon Arena, which is also commonly referred to as “The Igloo” has an extensive WWE history, including being the home to some of the most memorable moments in all of WWE history.
Perhaps the most memorable of those moments occurred at the 1998 King of the Ring pay-per-view in the now famous Hell in a Cell match between Mankind and Undertaker. In a scene that stunned even the most rabid wrestling fan, Undertaker threw Mankind off the top of the cage structure and through the announce table to the arena floor. Shockingly, Mankind would continue the match, much to the appreciation of the arena crowd. Also on the same show, Ken Shamrock defeated The Rock to win the King of the Ring Tournament. Later in the main event, Kane defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in a First Blood Match to capture the WWE Championship.
Going back even further, the Mellon Arena, then known as the Civic Arena, was the home of the 1995 version of SummerSlam. On that night, Diesel retained his WWE Championship by defeating King Mabel. Also, Shawn Michaels defeated Razor Ramon in the sequel to their original WrestleMania Ladder Match.
In 2000, the Igloo was home to one of the Monday Night Wars’ most significant moments. The January 31 edition of RAW featured the debut of former WCW and future WWE Superstars Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn, then known as the Radicalz.
The following year was another eventful one for WWE and Pittsburgh. In January of 2001, RAW visited the Mellon Arena. The Rock defeated Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and Big Show to become the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship. Later in the same year, Unforgiven came to the Igloo. In his hometown, Kurt Angle defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to capture his second WWE Championship.
More recently, SmackDown and RAW visited the Mellon Arena in 2003 and 2004 respectively. On the ’03 SmackDown, hometown hero Kurt Angle successfully retained his WWE Championship when he defeated Brock Lesnar. On the ’04 RAW, Chris Benoit outlasted Triple H in a 60-minute WWE Iron Man Match, defeating The Game by a score of 4-3 to retain his World Heavyweight Championship.
The last time WWE was in Pittsburgh was for the 2005 No Way Out. That show featured the first-ever Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match between JBL and Big Show for the WWE Championship. The bloody battle ended when Big Show chokeslammed JBL through the ring, allowing JBL to crawl out from under the apron to the arena floor, thus escaping the cage and retaining his WWE gold.
The Mellon Arena opened in 1961, and seats close to 17,000 fans for WWE events. The Igloo is the home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and has hosted concerts featuring music acts such as Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead.
Tonight, just six days away from ECW’s One Night Stand, Pittsburgh will write a new chapter in WWE history. Tune in at 9/8 CT on USA Network to see it all unfold.