The world is full of incredible wrestling cities such as London, Philadelphia, New York, LA, Orlando and more. But nothing compares to the Windy City! With NXT Takeover and Backlash having took place in Chicago last week, it’s only fitting to write this.
Consistently ranked as the best or one of the best wrestling cities in the world by sites like Wrestlezone, Sportster, Bleacher Report and acknowledged by WWE and its wrestlers, Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world. So here are 5 reasons why wrestling is best in Chicago.
When you tune in to any WWE show, it’s a rarity to get those jaw dropping, rowdy, loud and deafening crowds anymore. Even though every year you get an extra large crowd or a pumped up crowd, Chicago consistently has incredible ones. Between funny chants, smart fans, savage people, and loud involved crowds, it’s always fun watching a show in Chicago. I always attend Chicago shows (I live in Chicago) and watching is half the fun. The other half is being the best crowd in the world and participating. Being part of the show is like nothing else. Chicago crowds are most famous for their recent crowd performance on March 3rd, 2014 for an episode of Raw. I highly suggest you go and watch the episode to hear extremely loud CM Punk chants, Yes chants, some Holy Sh*t moments. It’s one of the best episodes of Raw ever in my opinion. The Chicago crowd is always ready to hijack Raw and make themselves heard. They are the voices of the voiceless. They speak the truth.
To say that Chicago is home to so many amazing wrestlers would be an understatement. These wrestlers include, but aren’t limited to:
Bobby “The Brain” Heenen
And more of course. Chicago is also home to some up and coming Indy stars as well as a few new wrestling schools. Chicago also boasts the history of having “Windy City Wrestling”, one of the first televised wrestling federations in the world.
The Squared Circle
Unless you are a wrestling fan in Chicago, you probably don’t know what this is. The Squared Circle is a restaurant in downtown Chicago. In the middle of the city, this restaurant is run by former WWE Diva Victoria and is consistently visited and co-run by wrestlers like Bob Backlund and more. The restaurant is all wrestling themed including pictures, posters, titles, figures, and even ring gear and autographs. Wrestling music, dressed up waiters and waitresses, cool food names on the menu (scorpion death burger, hulk hogan chocolate milkshake, etc) and last but not least, a ton of TV’s that are always showing wrestling. Mostly WWE, and they always show PPV’s. They also show PWG, LU, ROH, TNA and more.
Chicago is home to tons of historic wrestling moments. They hosted WrestleMania 2, 13, and 22. Chicago is home of Cena’s debut, the return of Brock Lesnar, title changes, and always host a PPV every year. Chicago has also been home to some of the greatest matches ever like Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart and John Cena vs. CM Punk. They’ve held multiple MITB ladder matches, NXT and ROH. Chicago’s rich history has been acknowledged by the WWE in an article posted on their website.
This picture may not show it, but the Allstate Arena (where all Chicago WWE shows are held) is a small stadium. The stadium holds about 17,000 people which seems like a lot- but it’s not. For example, WM 32 boasted over 100,000 people. Even the worst seats in the house are close to the ring.
The picture above is my seat from the upper deck. I sat here for Extreme Rules, 2015, as you can clearly see, is still close to the ring.
Wrestlers like Cena, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, and more have all said that Chicago is a favorite for almost all WWE superstars to wrestle in because the arena is small so it’s intimate, loud, and easy to connect with a crowd. Also, wrestlers say backstage is small and easy to navigate, plus it’s simply fun to wrestle in the Windy City. Maybe it’s the acoustics, wooden ceiling or height, but the arena’s atmosphere is magical. The passion overflows through the roof here.
“Everybody Always says New York City is the home of the wwe, but I come here and I’m reminded why chicago really is.” – John Cena
“We all do this because we love it, but when we see Chicago on our calendars, we get extra excited!”- Dean Ambrose