Arena Report - Madison Square Garden

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September 11, 2006

A storybook night lies ahead when RAW comes to Madison Square Garden, the World's Most Famous Arena. A large part of the Garden's prestige has been earned by the McMahon family and the WWE, especially when it played host to WrestleMania, WrestleMania X and WrestleMania XX.

Featured in the main event will be none other than The Chairman himself in a match against Triple H, after Mr. McMahon admitted that wrestling in a main event at MSG is one goal he has yet to accomplish.

Madison Square Garden is the arena that saw Hulk Hogan and Mr. T take on "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff in the first ever WrestleMania main event. It was also the site where Bret "Hitman" Hart won the World Heavyweight Championship from Yokozuna at WrestleMania X and where Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Benoit faced each other for the World Heavyweight Championship in WrestleMania XX.

Madison Square Garden is the birthplace of Hulkamania, when Hulk Hogan won the WWE Championship from the Iron Sheik on Jan. 23, 1984 and began changing not only WWE but all of sports entertainment forever. It is also the home of the first Survivor Series in 1987 and the first SummerSlam in 1988.

The Rock made his debut at Madison Square Garden at 1996's Survivor Series. The Garden was the grounds for Triple H and Mick Foley's classic Street Fight at Royal Rumble 2000, considered by many to be each Superstar's best performance. In November of 2002, Shawn Michaels won in the Elimination Chamber after four and a half years of being out of WWE with a back injury.

It is impossible to choose a most significant event because Madison Square Garden is the place where moments are made.

Wrestling aside, some of the greatest events in all of entertainment have taken place at the New York City venue. Marilyn Monroe sang her infamous rendition of Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy there in 1962. John Lennon made his last ever concert appearance on Nov. 28, 1974 as a surprise guest during Elton John's performance. Led Zeppelin recorded their live album and movie The Song Remains the Same there in 1973. Madison Square Garden was also the host of the Concert for New York City five weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

When WWE comes to the Garden, it is truly an event. RAW plans on throwing the biggest party in New York when as many fans as possible cram into the 20,000-seat arena.

April 18, 2005 marks the last time RAW broadcasted from Madison Square Garden. That night, fans watched Triple H take on Jim Ross in the main event.

What does The Chairman have up his sleeve to ensure a win in his main event debut in -- what Ross called -- "the building that -- as far as wrestling is concerned -- his family has made famous and will continue to make famous for generations to come?" Find out at 9/8 CT on USA.

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