Arena Report--Wachovia Center
Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center (formerly known as the CoreStates Center and the First Union Center) will host tonight’s edition of SmackDown. Philly has hosted a slew of WWE events in past years, including WrestleMania XV, In Your House 10: Mind Games, the 2004 Royal Rumble and Unforgiven in 2000.
At WrestleMania XV in 1999, Mankind guest refereed the main event between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. This was the second consecutive WrestleMania that The Rattlesnake claimed the WWE Championship—the first Superstar in history to reach that milestone. WrestleMania XV also held the Brawl for All contest between Butterbean and Bart Gunn. Butterbean manhandled Gunn, beating him to a pulp in the first round of their scheduled three round bout.
At WWE In Your House 10: Mind Games in 1996, Shawn Michaels defeated Mankind via disqualification to retain his WWE Championship. New World Tag Team Champions were crowned that night, as Owen Hart and the British Bulldog won WWE gold by defeating The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart Gunn).
In the 2004 Royal Rumble, Batista & Ric Flair defeated The Dudleys in a Tables Match to retain the World Tag Team Championship. Other notable matches included the late, great Eddie Guerrero pinning his nephew, Chavo Guerrero; Brock Lesnar retaining the WWE Championship against Hardcore Holly; and Triple H holding onto the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match against Shawn Michaels after both Superstars were counted out. In the 30-man Royal Rumble match, Chris Benoit emerged victorious, outlasting the likes of Chris Jericho, Big Show, Goldberg, John Cena, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle, among others.
At Unforgiven in 2000, the Wachovia Center witnessed Chris Jericho defeat X-Pac by submission with the Walls Of Jericho. Tazz squared off against Jerry “The King” Lawler, making “The King” submit with his Tazzmission. The Hardcore Championship changed hands that night as well, as Steve Blackman defeated Test, Perry Saturn, Crash Holly, Al Snow and Funaki in a Hardcore Battle Royal.
The Wachovia Center was built in 1996, and is home to the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, the Philadelphia Wings (AHL) and the Philadelphia Soul (AFL). Seating roughly 20,000 for large events, the arena has a long resume to boast about, hosting the NHL Stanley Cup Finals in 1997, the NBA Finals and All-Star Game in 2001 and 2002 respectively and the 2000 Republican National Convention.
There won't be much brotherly love at SmackDown tonight as rumors are swirling that the Animal, Batista, who is making his return to SmackDown, will call out the World's Strongest Man Mark Henry. Plus, a Battle Royal will be held to determine who will challenge Rey Mysterio for the World Championship at The Great American Bash. There’s a lot to be seen and there’s only one place to catch it—on UPN at 8/7 CT.