Coming on the heels of a spectacular triple threat match with The Mix, Finn Balor, and Seth Rollins to headline the first Raw at the Golden One Center, I thought I’d take a few minutes to look back at some of the greatest moments the WWE has ever produced in the city of Sacramento. I was in attendance for 1, 2, and 4.
5) CM PUNK PUNCHES A FAN
Lo-Down producer Chris Verlod reminded me of this one. I completely forgot this was in Sacramento. CM Punk was the hottest thing in the world and this moment was a great reminder that just because a wrestler comes in the crowd, that doesn’t give you the right to touch them.
4) THE MIZ VS DOLPH ZIGGLER
The first major event at the Golden One Center following a couple nights with Paul McCartney. I absolutely loved this match live. So much so, I never went back and watched it on the Network. I was afraid, much like the Sting Triple H match at Wrestlemania 31, which I really enjoyed live, that the announcers would ruin what I remember enjoying so much live. What was even more amazing about this match was, I didn’t even by the story going in. The most important eliminate of a match is the storytelling. Ziggler was gonna retire if he lost? Seriously? I didn’t buy it for a second. When the match started that didn’t matter. Miz and Ziggler did such an amazing job of drawing you in. Tremendous work by both men.
3) RANDY SAVAGE PROPOSES TO ELIZABETH
The match made in Heaven. The two had been married in real life for 7 years or so but the first couple of the WWF had just rekindled their one screen partnership at Wrestlemania 7. Savage had played the heel through the bulk of his career but Elizabeth was always the conscience of the partnership. No matter how bad Savage was, we knew Elizabeth was good. This moment at ARCO was a part of near 5 hour WWE Superstars television taping that led to SummerSlam 1991.
I was sitting in the second row, behind the announcers table. I can say, in all certainty, that was not the place to be on this night. This was actually a really good episode of Raw that included The Rock and a mini-version of Booker T. It was also towards the tail end of the ill-fated Stone Cold heel turn that absolutely destroyed several business aspects of the WWE. Stone Cold had started to show signs of the humorous Austin this period is best remembered for and, I’m pretty certain, this night saw him begin the use of the word, “WHAT?”. Entire Kurt Angle, in a spoof of the famous Rock, AUstin, McMahon beer truck scene prior to Wrestlemania 15, the Olympic hero drove out a milk truck. A couple of notes before you watch the video, 1) I got covered in milk/water, 2) I had just turned 21 and took a flight to Vegas immediately following this event (in the same clothes), 3) at the 5:14 mark of the video, you hear a loud “Oooooo” chant from the ARCO guard. Thats a reaction to my best friend getting drilled in the side of the head with a milk cartoon.
1) THE FIRST EVER ROCK CONCERT
This really needs no description. You’ve almost certainly seen this. I was sitting in the front row for this event. It is still, the single most amazing crowd reaction I’ve ever heard. The Kings and Lakers was very heated and the pain for the playoff loses was very real. The Rock insulted the city. He insulted the women. Then he mentioned the Kings and Lakers. To use his own words when describing the incident, “That place went ape s**t”. It was anger and hatred an let out in an explosive roar that I had never heard before and, several Wrestlemanias later, have not heard since.