WWE has officially announced that Raw and SmackDown will be airing from Madison Square Garden later this year for the first time in almost 10 years.
In 2018, Ring Of Honor and New Japan caused quite the stir by booking a joint show the night before WrestleMania. That by itself is not out of the ordinary. Many promotions piggyback off of WrestleMania and stage shows in the same city that weekend. It was the venue ROH and NJPW opted for that caught everyone's attention.
Madison Square Garden. An iconic venue, especially in the wrestling business. However, there have been very few wrestling events at the arena that have not been run by WWE. WWE's HQ might be in Stamford Connecticut, but its spiritual home is MSG. Countless milestones have happened there including multiple Bruno Sammartino title defenses and the first-ever WrestleMania.
MSG hosting other wrestling companies reportedly struck a nerve with WWE. So much so that there were rumors at the time that Vince McMahon requested the show be canceled or moved elsewhere. That didn't happen, obviously, and now we have fresh evidence that WWE was not happy with rival promotions being invited into its spiritual home. That evidence comes in the form of Raw and SmackDown returning to MSG.
🗣 ANNOUNCEMENT: For the first time in 10 years, @WWE #RAW & #SDLive return to The Garden September 9 & 10! 🎟: Chase Advance Access: July 17 @ 10am | Presale: July 18 @ 10am | Public on sale: July 19 @ 10am. Visit https://t.co/81szFcl78H to sign up for more info! pic.twitter.com/o1dH1tSdoU— MSG (@TheGarden) July 15, 2019
News of the shows was officially announced during this week's Raw. To give you a little perspective, it will be the first time WWE's weekly shows have taken place in MSG since November 2009, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet. The main event of that Raw featured John Cena teaming with The Undertaker to take on Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and Big Show and Chris Jericho.
Despite it being almost a decade since WWE taped shows at MSG, it hasn't been absent from the arena that entire time. It tends to return twice a year for untelevised live events and saves its taped shows for the nearby Barclays Center. It clearly took other wrestling to go there for WWE to be reminded of how important the arena is to its history. We are fully expecting big shows at MSG when Raw and SmackDown head there on September 9 and 10, 2019.