25 Strangest Places In Which Pro-Wrestling Has Taken Place: Part 1 (25-16)
Unusual venues add a distinct cool factor unique to wrestling.
One understated advantage professional wrestling has over its more "legitimate" counterparts in pro-sports is its dynamic ability to remove the things people find boring about "real" competitions and place a simulated fight within an entertainment context.
While WrestleManias 8, 9, 19, 26, 28, 29, 31 and 33 were all held outdoors, we are yet to see a UFC pay-per-view with as much dazzling presentation. The NFL gives us real competition but also stringent rules including prohibiting players from dancing in the end zone after touchdowns, something WWE would never do.
In wrestling, the personalities, characters, storylines and overall context are as important to the medium as the core in-ring performance, therefore it makes sense for live event settings to be as dynamic and charming as the two performers in the ring.
Over the years, there have certainly been a large number of weird yet interesting locations for pro-wrestling matches and events, and just like settings in TV and film, weird wrestling venues have often done a masterful job selling whatever mood was meant to be conveyed in the booking of the matches.
These are the 25 strangest places pro-wrestling has ever taken place in (part 1 of 3).
#25 A subway station
In early 1997, WWE (then WWF) debuted an edgy, late night show on the USA Network called Shotgun Saturday Night. Aired live amid New York City's busy nightlife, it was a unique twist on their standard programming that created an intimate atmosphere for fans in attendance and those watching back home.
The company's Superstars were removed from the usual large-scale arenas and placed in small Fight Club-style settings in bars and clubs across the city. Unfortunately, the show changed after just a few weeks and was turned into a dark match (initially untelevised match) program filmed in arenas before Raw, but not before giving the fans a memorable night of action in the middle of New York's Penn Station.
That's right, then-Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley (better known as Triple H) literally emerged from a limousine on 34th Street with the title in hand just after a commercial break and stepped directly into the busy train station to defend his belt in the main event against the Undertaker.
The match, which was preceded by Rocky Maivia, Marc Mero and other wrestlers on the undercard, took place in a small 16x16 ring with NXT-style yellow ropes, yet still delivered a cool television moment. The Undertaker's ominous entrance, casually stepping down a long flight of stairs as his music played and NYPD officers stood in the background, was chilling.
The Dead Man ultimately solidified Shotgun's short-lived coolness by the end of the night when, after losing to Triple H by DQ, he brought Hunter to the upper level of the station and tombstoned him down an escalator as dozens of fans loudly cheered.