Arena Report - DCU Center

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September 15, 2006

Worcester, Mass. serves as the battleground for Friday Night SmackDown tonight as the SmackDown Superstars invade the DCU Center. It is SmackDown's first visit in over a year.

The last time SmackDown came to the DCU Center was on July 14, 2005. Batista, who still held the WWE Championship then, took part in a champion vs. champion match against then-United States Champion Orlando Jordan. Batista emerged victorious, but it was John Bradshaw Layfield who had the last laugh. After accompanying Jordan to the ring, JBL attacked Batista during and after the match. JBL also had a big night in Worcester on Dec. 4, 2004, when he retained the WWE Championship against Booker T.

WCW's Slamboree pay-per-view also took place at the DCU Center in 1998. That night, Finlay successfully defended the Television Championship against Chris Benoit.

While Worcester has seen plenty of sports-entertainment, arguably the biggest events came in 1989 and 2003 with Saturday Night Main Event and Backlash, respectively. In '89, fans watched Hulk Hogan retain the WWE Championship against Honky Tonk Man. The World Tag Team Championship changed hands that night when the Brain Busters brought the gold to the Heenan Family after winning a Two-Out-Of-Three Falls Match against Demolition, ending the longest World Tag Team Championship reign to date. Backlash 2003 marked the night Goldberg emerged as an elite WWE Superstar when he defeated The Rock in the main event.

The DCU Center, formerly known as the Worcester Centrum and Worcester's Centrum Centre, opened in 1982. Digital Federal Credit Union bought the naming rights in 2004. It is currently the home of the Worcester Sharks American Hockey League team. The DCU Center's first event, a debut concert by Frank Sinatra, was the first of many frequent major events to take place in the arena, which offers over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space. Bruce Springsteen and Neil Diamond have each kicked off world tours at the DCU Center and musicians from Queen to the Grateful Dead have made appearances.

Will JBL find a way to have another big night in Worcester? What will be Batista's next course of action in his hunt for the World Heavyweight Championship? Find out tonight at 8/7 CT on UPN.

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