Top 10 WWE Moments at Izod Center

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The Meadowlands Arena has a minor amount of prestige, but it’s not in the same legendary league as Madison Square Garden is. With WWE releasing the collection of best matches from Madison Square Garden DVD/bluray collection soon, it’s a perfect time to look back at an article from the Bleacher Report that’s a couple of years old now. The article puts the spotlight on the Rodney Dangerfield of arenas, one that most likely will never receive the same DVD/bluray tribute that MSG is getting.

The Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ never really got much respect. I always felt that New Jersey got the shaft when it came to getting killer WWE/F events. It doesn’t make much sense either since the Meadowlands has always been a huge supporter of WWE. The arena indeed held WWE events and pay per views, but not many of them are considered classics.

As a guy who’s spent his entire life as a WWE fanatic, it’s a pleasure reading about all the great WWE moments that happened at the Meadowlands through the years. The problem is that the 10 best WWE Izod Center moments are probably, well, ALL OF THEM. The good stuff rarely happened in Jersey – they usually saved it all for the Garden, and rightfully so.

The tri-state area has always been WWE’s central location to run shows. I’ve read articles through the years in WWE magazine that barely acknowledge Jersey as one of the WWE’s hotbeds for live shows. Simply an outrage. New York fans will travel to Jersey for an event and vice versa. There’s also fans coming in from Pennsylvania and Connecticut as well, so it’s not a place that people despise going to. Just because the Meadowlands Arena building itself is not as prestigious or as historic as The Garden doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a venue where big stuff happens.

Yes, it was certainly cool to have Wrestlemania 29 here in Jersey, not New York like most of the advertising materials would leave you to believe. ‘Mania wasn’t at Izod Center because Vince McMahon set his sights on stadiums for the big event long ago, so, Izod’s big brother, Metlife Stadium was home to the event. Izod settled for housing WWE’s Fan Axxess. We’ll take what we can get.

Back to the article I’m pointing you to at The Bleacher Report. It’s far from being a favorite site of mine, in fact, I can’t stand the site. Websites that presents every article as a slideshow and make you click NEXT to continue to the next part piss me off. It’s not the fault of the writers, because they do a bang up job, it’s just the site in general tries to be so elite and they come off as too mainstream for my taste. I prefer more fan-based coverage when it comes to pro-wrestling, not a football writer assigned to report on wrestling.

In this case, writer Robert Aitken does an excellent job putting together an in-depth look back at some of the most historic WWE moments that took place at the Meadowlands area, then known as Brendan Byrne Arena, later Continental Airlines Arena, and presently Izod Center. It’s all information that can be found around the Internet, but it’s nice to read it all in one spot. The article takes us from Saturday Night’s Main Event all the way through 3 Summerslams and various other events along the way. There goes the rest of my old school WWE content! This article pretty much uses it all up. Thanks Bleacher Report, you jerks!

Until I found this article, I thought I’d be the only one around to be compelled to write something like this, since Izod Center is not even a bastard stepchild of MSG, it’s more of a third cousin with a limp. I’ve actually attended many of the events that Aitken writes about and, if you are so inclined, you can also check out my column about WWE/WWF Event Cards from New Jersey, one of which I even made custom for the article! These posts highlights event card sheets from WWE house shows, TV tapings, and other events I attended through the years.

WWE comes to Izod Center on September 7th, 2013
For more info click here.

Cena Shows No Mercy in New Jersey


John Cena has busted his ass in WWE for many years. For instance, let’s take you back to October 3rd, 2004 when Izod Center used to be called The Continental Airlines Arena. At WWE’s No Mercy Pay-Per-View, John Cena defeated Booker T in the finals of a 5-match series for the United States Championship. But, it wasn’t until April of 2005 that Cena won his first WWE Championship. Since then, Cena has been carrying the WWE for a solid 7 years whether he’s had the title or not, which is illustrated in the main attraction to tonight’s pay-per-view event.

It’s WWE’s Extreme Rules. Although neither of these guys have a title, the main event is John Cena vs. the chump from UFC, Brock Lesnar. If you haven’t followed WWE lately, Lesnar recently made his return on Monday Night Raw and brawled with John Cena. Ever since he made his WWE TV debut in 2002, I was never sold on Lesnar. His voice irritates me and considering he was an amateur wrestler his in-ring skills aren’t fluid. He’s big, powerful, and has an attitude, but that’s about it. In the early 2000’s there seemed to be an influx of guys like that joining the company. Guys like Batista bored the crap out of me, and regardless of his popularity, Lesnar fits in that same category.


John Cena on the other hand gets a bum rap. Cena is a hard worker and is constantly getting criticized for his limited in-ring repertoire, which I think is ridiculous. Wrestling fans like to boo Cena because it’s the thing to do. They love to be annoying. If you ever watch WWE programming there’s 100% chance you will hear the audience chant “What?” or “Yes!” at any moment just because that’s what they do. Is Cena as technically savvy as Bret Hart or the late Mr. Perfect? Obviously not, but Cena has a hugely successful mix of many wrestling characteristics and he gets no credit for it. Cena’s character is pulled from guys like Sammartino, and Hogan, just like a rock band is influenced by their favorite bands from previous years. That’s the way it should be.

The main event at Wrestlemania 28 was a joke as well. There’s no reason why The Rock had to come back as an obnoxious asshole and WIN against Cena. Cena could’ve used the win over Rock to solidify his legacy. The Rock has lost to plenty of worse opponents than Cena. It’s also been said that Cena carried the Rock and his ring rust the entire match. Why does WWE continue to give in to the half of their fans that dislike Cena? He’s a huge international superstar who is the figurehead of the company. The name associated with WWE nowadays is and has been John Cena for the last several years much in the same was that Hogan’s was in the ’80s and early ’90s. I’m not a fan of seeing the same thing all the time, but if the fans want to see someone new and exciting take the torch, someone has got to step up big time. Lesnar is not that guy.

There’s a new crop of wrestlers finally getting TV time on Raw and Smackdown. Hopefully these guys will show some sort of spark that the company has been sorely lacking. The WWE Superstars, aside from guys like C.M Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and a few others, just seem like they are going through the motions. So, if half of the WWE fans hate Cena so much, I’d like to see them choose the next young talent who they think will dethrone him. One thing is for sure, Cena won’t mind passing the torch to one of them, unlike The Rock.

WWE fans in N.J can also look forward to No Way Out coming to the Izod Center on June 17th, 2012.

WWE Hell in a Cell Comes to The Prudential Center

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This photo of the Prudential Center appeared on today

WWE brings their brutal pay per view, Hell in a Cell, to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on October 4th, 2009. The main event of Hell in a Cell takes place in a massive, roofed steel cage. Stars from Raw, Smackdown, and ECW will compete at the event. The last time WWE broadcasted a live pay per view from New Jersey was Summerslam 2007 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, which wasn’t as impressive as I hoped. I’m sure Hell in a Cell will squash the lame aftertaste Summerslam ’07 left.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday morning through Ticketmaster, but you may have been one of the lucky people to get in on the pre-sale that happened this week. The Sexy Armpit will be ringside for Hell in a Cell, the first ever WWE pay per view event to emanante from the 2 year old arena.

The Prudential Center shares a common nickname associated with WWE, “The Rock,” is not only Dwayne Johnson’s former moniker, but also refers to The Prudential Center as well.
For more info check out the official press release at The Prudential Center’s website.

It’s Anybody’s Meadowlands

I read a story in our local paper yesterday that Continental Airlines is ending their deal with the Meadowlands arena in East Rutherford. They will no longer have their logo on the top of the building. The NJSEA is taking bids from all different companies to see what company the arena will be named after next. It took ten years for people to finally start getting used to calling it Continental Arena and now it’ll probably be something whacked out like Iams Dog Food Arena, or The Marlboro Lights Arena. Wait, shouldn’t a beer company own it!?!

“Welcome everyone to the Budweiser Arena in New Jersey, we’ve got a great game tonight for you the Nets vs. the defending Champions San Antonio Spurs! This season it’s a bit different though, every game the inside of the entire arena will be filled with BEER! That’s 37,693 gallons of BEER, not even your grandmother could throw that back! How will the players play while submerged in BEER? We’ll soon see as we go court side for the tip…”

Soon the N.J Nets will play at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn N.Y. What’s with teams playing in different states? (The New York Giants play in New Jersey and now the N.J Nets will be playing in New York! I think it’s all scam to try to get people to take mass transit and pay tolls when going to the games.) $400 million over the next 20 years will give Barclay’s Bank the rights to plaster their name to the top of the building. I understand that teams need the revenue but I can’t stand the fact that the winning bidders never truly have much in common with a sports or entertainment event at all. It’s purely done for exposure.

I think the advertisers bidding should at least have to correspond to the events or the sports held there in some way. I don’t care if it’s Nike or Gatorade, but it just seems to make more sense than a bank. A Continental Airlines sign on the top of the arena made sense since Newark airport is not far away and if you’re flying over the arena you’ll see the sign. Having an airline adverrtise seemed like a good idea since players and fans use airlines to travel to games. To some extent, I’m ok with venues like the Verizon Center. Since many people around the world use cell phones or Internet service, they apply. Through their service, sports/entertainment information can be accessed and tickets can be purchased.

The NJSEA actually asked former governor and one time namesake for the building, Brendan Byrne, if he and his family wanted to place a bid. Luckily, he replied with a definitive “No.” I don’t know how much money he has but I doubt he’d be able to compete with even the lowest bid. After all, he’s got a freakin’ N.J state forest named after him isn’t that enough? What company do you think should win the bid?