Arena Report - Gaylord Entertainment Center
Tonight on SmackDown, WWE returns to "Music City, USA," Nashville, Tenn. With a little over a week until SummerSlam, all of the Superstars will be looking to deliver one more good ol' fashioned country beat-down in the home of country music and the Grand Ole Opry before heading north to Boston for the Biggest Party of the Summer. The Nashville faithful will flock to the Gaylord Entertainment Center in anticipation of the latest series of dramatic WWE moments to occur within the walls of the GEC.
The last time SmackDown visited Nashville on March 19 earlier this year, some of the biggest names in WWE clashed in an epic Four-Way Match with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Kurt Angle was able to retain against Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Mark Henry.
Angle was also in action during SmackDown's previous visit to the GEC on December 16, 2004. Just days after Armageddon, where the Wrestling Machine -- along with Mark Jindrak & Luther Reigns -- had lost in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match against the Big Show, General Manager Theodore Long booked Angle in a match against JBL, who had retained the WWE Championship at Armageddon against Eddie Guerrero, King Booker and Undertaker. With the gold at stake, Angle endured a long match and a series of battering blows and took a cheap shot to the head before applying his signature Ankle Lock. Just as the packed house was ready to erupt in celebration of their new Olympic Hero Champion, Jindrak, Reigns, The Bashams and Orlando Jordan interrupted, drawing a double disqualification. As if things weren't chaotic enough, Big Show joined the fray and cleared the ring, demanding an opportunity at JBL's WWE Championship.
Nashville is home to the NFL's Tennessee Titans, leading many locals to refer to the city as "Titan Town." The nickname was fitting when RAW was in town on Sept. 17, 2001, because the main event featured four WWE Titans -- Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam and then-WWE Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin -- in a tag team throw-down. In a preview of their Hardcore Championship Match at Unforgiven, Jericho and Van Dam went to battle. With Van Dam locked into the Walls of Jericho, Stone Cold grabbed the ring bell and used it to take out Y2J. However, Angle recovered after being knocked out by Van Dam and scrambled back to the ring to nail the Rattlesnake with the Angle Slam for the pin.
In addition to hosting WWE's biggest Superstars, the Gaylord Entertainment Center is home to the Nashville Predators of the NHL. The ten-year-old facility, originally named Nashville Arena, is capable of holding up to 20,000 people. With the action around WWE heating up in the final days before SummerSlam, the GEC might just need a few extra seats. Tune in at 8/7 CT on UPN to see all the Music City action.