Arena Report - FedEx Forum

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August 07, 2006

Last week on RAW, Shawn Michaels was all set to strike up the band when the McMahon men jumped into the fray and turned the tables on the Showstopper. Instead of becoming the first man in WWE to defeat Umaga, HBK received some Sweet "Shane" Music. Tonight, RAW travels to the FedEx Forum in "Graceland," Memphis, TN, where Triple H hopes to be singing a different tune against the Samoan Bulldozer.

Memphis is the birthplace of Jerry "The King" Lawler, who will look to slap a little respect into the Legend Killer, Randy Orton after Orton slapped The King right out of his seat at the announce table following his "Orton Knows Best" parody of the Hogan family.

Of course, Memphis is also the home of another King, rock legend Elvis Presley, and is a must-visit destination for any true rock and roll fan. WWE fans no doubt recall a great moment in rock history from the September 20, 2001 edition of SmackDown at the old Pyramid Arena, when The Rock paid tribute to rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis (The Rock had met Lewis at Memphis' famous Beale St. Diner) with his own rendition of "Great Balls of Fire."

The last time RAW was at the Forum was March 20 of this year. With the reunion of DX and the McMahons' unrelenting attempts to sabotage the duo over the past few months, it's hard to believe that the main event that evening was a tag team match pitting John Cena & Shawn Michaels against Triple H & Shane McMahon. However, staying true to form, Mr. McMahon destroyed a potentially electrifying tag team contest, sending his security team to attack Michaels and disqualifying Cena after only a few seconds. Instead, the stunned crowd was left to watch HBK fight for his life in a handicap match against Shane and The Game until Cena came back to help his would-be partner.

One year before that, on March 25, 2005 the SmackDown Superstars were in the building, with Carlito and even Funaki getting in on the Elvis act. However, the true climax of the action came after Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero retained their Tag Team Championship against the team of Hardcore Holly & Charlie Haas. In a darkened arena, the capacity crowd witnessed history as the Tag Team Champions announced that they would split up and compete for one night only at WrestleMania 21. It would be the first ever match-up of Tag Team Champions and would set off a bitter rivalry between the two best friends.

The short history of WWE events at the FedEx Forum is misleading because the arena is still very young -- the $250 million facility opened in Sept. 2004. Before moving to the Forum, WWE events, as well as home games for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, were held at the Pyramid Arena. These days, the FedEx Forum is the premiere venue for sports and entertainment in Memphis, covering 14 acres and accommodating 19,000 WWE fans. Will those fans witness Umaga's first ever defeat, or will the McMahons once again leave DX (in the words of The King) "All Shook Up?" How does WWE's King, Jerry Lawler, hope to take down the Legend Killer? The only way to find out is to watch RAW live tonight at 9/8 CT on USA.  

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