Arena Report - AT&T Center
As the old adage goes, everything is bigger in Texas. And big is exactly the attitude the RAW Superstars will bring tonight to San Antonio’s AT&T Center with SummerSlam just on the horizon. While this is not the first time WWE has wrestled at the AT&T Center, it is the first time they will be wrestling under the center’s new name, which changed from the SBC Center to the AT&T Center in January this year.
The San Antonio fans have seen their fair share of squared circle action, and on Aug. 2, 2004, the last time RAW came to San Antonio, Triple H and William Regal were ready to settle their differences. The men began their brawl on the stage, wowing fans as they assaulted each other all the way into the ring. Seconds after the referee called for the bell to begin the match, he caught Triple H with a set of brass knuckles. Before grabbing the foreign object away, Triple H forcefully pounded Regal busting him wide open. Not satisfied with the outcome of his beating, Triple H pulled his trademark sledgehammer out from under the ring, hitting Regal again in the head. As Regal was being taken out of the arena by paramedics, the relentless Triple H came back and tipped over his stretcher.
The last time the SmackDown Superstars made an appearance in San Antonio was on Oct. 14, 2005, and the fans were the first to be introduced to the Boogeyman, as he made his debut. But the Boogeyman wasn’t enough to scare away JBL, Christian, Rey Mysterio, Booker T and Sharmell, who battled it out in a No. 1 Contender Match, where the only rule was every man for himself. Whoever emerged victorious would receive an opportunity at facing Chris Benoit for the U.S. Championship the following week.
Mysterio’s high-flying moves assaulted the competition, and at one point, sent Booker T hunched over the middle rope. As Rey was gearing up for his patented 619, Sharmell reached up from behind and tripped Rey, causing him to fall face-first onto the mat. With Rey stunned, Booker T was able to collect his bearings and connect with a scissor kick for the win.
The AT&T Center was completed in 2002 and is most noted for being the home of the 2005 National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs. Perhaps its most notable moment was when the Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 81-74 during game seven of the 2005 NBA Finals. That win solidified their second title in three years, both of which were clinched at the Center.
San Antonio fans have loyally cheered and jeered our Superstars for many years, and in January next year, the WWE fans will have the opportunity to pack the AT&T Center again, as it will host its first pay-per-view – the 2007 Royal Rumble.
While the Royal Rumble will christen the adolescent arena, it is not the first time the Rumble has made its way to San Antonio. On Jan. 19, 1997, 30 men clashed in the ring vying for an opportunity at the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. In the end, it was Stone Cold Steve Austin who prevailed. Even though Bret Hart had actually eliminated him, the referees did not see the elimination and thus raised Stone Cold’s arm in victory.
The city of San Antonio has long been a vital element in the creation of WWE history. Tonight on RAW, John Cena will take on the undefeated Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga. Will San Antonio fans be greeted to another amazing unfolding of events that will rock RAW to its core? Tune in to the USA Network at 9/8 CT tonight to find out.