With the No.1 moment in RAW history on its resume (as noted on the January 2003 RAW Special) —when Stone Cold Steve Austin made his entrance to the ring by tearing down the ramp from behind the wheel of a beer truck—Albany's Pepsi Arena is no stranger to WWE action.
In 2006, the Pepsi Arena was the site of New Year's Revolution where John Cena outlasted Kurt Angle, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Carlito and Chris Masters in the Elimination Chamber. Edge then "cashed in" the Money in the Bank title opportunity he won at WrestleMania 21 to take on an exhausted Cena. After two Spears, Edge got the pin to become the new WWE Champion. It was the fourth time in WWE history the Elimination Chamber was utilized.
Before New Year's Revolution, the last pay-per-view event to take place in Albany was No Mercy in 2000. That night Kurt Angle defeated The Rock to become the new WWE Champion after catching the People's Champ with an Olympic Slam. Earlier in the evening, Chris Benoit lost to Triple H after The Game hit the Rabid Wolverine with a low blow and a Pedigree while the referee was distracted.
At the 1992 Royal Rumble, when the Pepsi Arena was known as the Knickerbocker Arena, Ric Flair last eliminated Sid Justice to win the vacant WWE Championship. 1992 marks the only time the WWE Championship was on the line in the Royal Rumble match.
On March 30, 1998, one night after the showdown between HBK and Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV, Albany witnessed the return of X-Pac to WWE as a member of D-Generation X. Two other Superstars that new DX leader Triple H recruited that night: Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg Jesse James from the New Age Outlaws.
The Pepsi Arena is home for the American Hockey League River Rats and the Siena Saints basketball team. In March '06 pop-punk quartet Fall Out Boy used the venue to kick off their Black Clouds & Underdogs Tour featuring the All American Rejects, From First to Last, Hawthorne Heights and The Hush Sound. In May 2006 the naming rights of the Pepsi Arena were sold to local newspaper The Times Union, and will officially be renamed the Times Union Center on January 1, 2007.
RAW and SmackDown have both made four previous appearances at the Pepsi Arena, the last being SmackDown in March 2005. Tonight when Friday Night SmackDown returns to Albany, Rey Mysterio takes on "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry. Plus, the WWE Tag Team Championship is on the line when Paul London & Brain Kendrick will defend their gold against the Mexicools. Also, a rematch of lasts week's main event between King Booker and Bobby Lashley will take place. Don't miss a match. Watch Friday Night SmackDown at 8/7 CT on UPN.