During the golden age of professional wrestling, Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, was considered the mecca. The Garden was the birthplace to pivotal moments in wrestling history, such as Hulkamania being born, the first WrestleMania, Austin stunning Mr. McMahon for the first time. All of those moments and historic events are woven into what wrestling has become today.
However, since the start of the 2010s, it seems that pro wrestling has found a new city that is home to the most vocal, passionate, and devoted fans out there. Chicago, Illinois has been the focal point of many professional wrestling promotions for over the last decade. While Chicago has always been a prominent city in pro wrestling, it was given a chance to truly let the world hear their stentorian roars when WWE presented Money in the Bank in 2011. The event is notable for hometown hero CM Punk challenging and defeating John Cena for the WWE Championship. There’s often a forgotten third person in that match, and that is the surfeit of jeers towards Cena and the cheers for Punk. Due to this event, the company and promotions in the future realized just how important a hot crowd can influence a match or story.
While not having a historic venue such as Madison Square Garden, the variety of arenas available for promotions each can compliment an event in their own unique way. The Allstate Arena is WWE’s choice when they come to town, which is also many WWE Superstar’s favorite arena to wrestle in, most notably Steve Austin. The Allstate Arena’s timber roof somehow manages to conceal the explosive chants the fans roar each and every time WWE comes to town. The arena has been the host to two WestleManias among other classic PPVs and PLEs.
When a few independent wrestlers dared to change the business forever, the ROH-backed All In that took place at the Sears Centere in 2018 was precisely chosen due to the knowledge of the city’s passionate fans and rich history. This show led to what would become All Elite Wrestling, which they then returned to almost every year since with their All Out pay-per-view and its weeklong events. The company also held the second episode of Rampage at the United Center, which is the largest arena used by an NBA team.
With last night’s Collision debut, Chicago again proved to the world why it has been the most important city to pro wrestling for over the last decade. When promotions want to run a hot angle, or give their audiences a great match, they know the best place to do it these days is in Chicago.