When athletes hear the name "MSG," better known as Madison Square Garden, they know they better bring their best. Home to professional sports teams such as the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, MSG hosts approximately 320 events a year. However, MSG is not just for sports. This extraordinary venue holds concerts for entertainers and singers as well, including Elton John, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2, Janet and Michael Jackson and many more. MSG has the most ticket sales in America when it comes to music. There has been over $1.1 billion spent on construction to make this historic building happen.
In 2011-13, there was a renovation process to make the MSG even more spectacular. They added a bigger entrance, a broadcast studio, larger concourses, new lighting and LED video systems with HDTV, new seating, more dining options and improved dressing rooms, locker rooms, green rooms, upgraded roof, and production offices, making MSG a must see building. Tourists want to see MSG just as much as the Empire State Building.
For athletes, MSG is a place to make history and show The Garden and everybody that attends what they are made of. NBA players have had career games and other athletes such as Muhammad Ali and Wayne Gretzky have had special moments there as well. One sport that has had historic MSG moments is the World Wrestling Entertainment business.
The WWE has had defining moments at MSG dating back to the '70s up until present day. Moments that, not only fans will never forget, but wrestlers and enterainers as well. These are 20 moments that happened at MSG that are unforgettable to people around the world.
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20 Andre the Giant and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Cowboy" Bob Orton
The match starts off with all four fighting as soon as the bell rings, with MSG going up in a frenzy. Andre showed why he is the best giant in WWE history by dominating the match.
With Andre finally down on the mat, Orton climbs up to the top rope and tries to jump on top of him, but Andre lifts hits right boot up as he jumps and catches him right in the face. Orndorff notices Orton is out and pins him for the three-count.
19 Cactus Jack vs. Triple H on RAW
This match was good from start to finish, with Jack coming down the ramp with a trash can in hand and Hunter running towards him and getting knocked down with it. This match including concrete, fire extinguisher, trash can, railings, Chyna, a mop, tables and more.
This match went all around the MSG as the two gave it their all. Jack hit Hunter with a pile driver through the table, and pinned him unintentionally getting the three count and the win.
18 Kurt Angle vs. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho on RAW
Three of the best wrestlers in the business at this time put on a show in a #1 Contender's Match where the winner would face the WWE Champion at that time, The Rock at SummerSlam.
The Rock sat ringside as he watched these three superstars battle for their chance to become the next WWF Champion. The match ended in controversy as Angle and Triple H both hit Jericho with a suplex from the top rope. As all three men lay on the mat, Angle and Triple H both covered Jericho at the same time, with both superstars getting the three count. After the match, The Rock came into the ring and delivered a Rock Bottom to Triple H, Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon after she stepped inside the ring and slapped The Rock.
Both Triple H and Kurt Angle went on to SummerSlam to face The Rock in a Triple Threat WWF Championship match, in which The Rock won with a People's Elbow on Triple H.
17 Jeri-Show vs. D-Generation X vs. John Cena and The Undertaker on RAW
Just by the names in this match, this was going to be one of a kind. At this time John Cena was the WWE Champion, The Undertaker was the World Heavyweight Champion and Chris Jericho and Big Show were the Unified Tag Team Champions, making this match even more exciting. This was also the Undertaker's first match in almost a year. Cena had to defend his WWE Championship against Triple H and Michaels in a Triple Threat match at the upcoming Survivor Series and The Undertaker had to defend his title against Jericho and Big Show in a Triple Threat match as well.
The match started off with Triple H, The Undertaker and Big Show in the ring facing off against each other as MSG went wild. The match was good and started to get crazy at the end with bodies everywhere. With his back turned, Triple H turned around and got hit with an Attitude Adjustment by John Cena securing the win. After the match, Undertaker delivered a Tombstone Piledriver to Cena.
Both Undertaker and Cena successfully defended their championships at Survivor Series.
16 Jimmy "SuperFly" Snuka Dives From Cage
Snuka was the first wrestler to become a daredevil in wrestling. In a match against then-Intercontinental Champion, Don Muraco on October 17, 1983, Snuka climbed to the top of the steel cage and performed a splash on Muraco. This set the tone for wrestlers such as Mick Foley, The Hardy Boyz and more. Snuka gave definition to the term "Do Not Try This at Home" to fans all around the world.
15 Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero Wrestlemania XX Moment
After a epic Wrestlemania, the night ended with two best friends coming together inside of the ring and celebrating their respective World Championship victories, while confetti fell on them.
Guerrero retained his WWE Championship by defeating Kurt Angle with his infamous trickery. After breaking out of three ankle locks by Angle, Guerrero untied his shoe. When he noticed Angle was looking at him, he started to hold his ankle as if he were hurt. Angle went straight for the ankle lock, but Guerrero's shoe came off. The distraction caused Guerrero to roll Angle into a pin and he won by using the rope for comfort.
Benoit defeated one Hall of Famer and another future Hall of Famer to earn his first ever World Heavyweight Championship (in WWE). The two shared tears, laughter and now that night they were finally both champions.
14 Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
For the very first Wrestlemania in history, this was on the best matches of the night, which is why it was the main event. Oh, and this match also included the great Muhammad Ali as a guest referee.
Mr. T showed he could hang with the big dogs performing various wrestling moves and looked in great shape, probably in better shape than most wrestlers. At the end of this great match, Bob Orton ran in the ring behind the referee's back and tried to hit Hogan. Instead, he hit Orndorff in the head with a cast he had on his hand due to an injury. Hogan took advantage of the mishap and pinned Orndorff for the three-count.
13 Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart at Wrestlemania X
The battle between two brothers had them exhausted throughout the whole match. Owen went as far as low blowing Bret and using Bret's own sharpshooter submission. As Bret was on the top rope, Owen reversed the move and rolled Bret up into a pin fall for a three-count win over his older brother.
After the match, Owen said in a interview "Now I'm the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be." Bret Hart went on to face Yokonzuna that same night for the WWF Championship and redeemed himself, turning his whole night around.
12 Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam 1991
The match started off slow with more than enough hair pulling and submissions moves, making the match look similar to a Divas match at first. Then the match started heating up with both doing a lot of counters, showing the knowledge they have for each other.
Mr. Perfect leaves the ring early in the match heading for the exit, knowing that he could not lose his Intercontinental Championship via count out. Hart chases him down and throws him back in the ring to continue the match. Mr. Perfect then takes over the match, knocking Hart out the ring multiple times. Mr. Perfect shoves the referee twice after a close two-count, but did not get disqualified, just a warning. After more close two-counts, Mr. Perfect grabs the referee's face this time, but still no disqualification.
Hart then gets a couple of close counts and gets mad at the referee, although he didn't touch him. Just as soon as Hart looks like he is down and out after a cheap shot by Mr. Perfect that the referee missed, Hart counters a submission and turns it into the Sharp Shooter, making Mr. Perfect tap out and becoming the new Intercontinental Champion.
11 Introduction of the Elimination Chamber
The WWE already had Steel Cage and Hell in a Cell matches, but that wasn't enough. In 2002, Eric Bischoff introduced the Elimination Chamber, a large chain steel chamber that surrounds the ring.
The match contains six competitors but only two start. While the first two are fighting, the other four are each inside a pod. Every five minutes, one of the competitors are chosen randomly to enter the ring until all six are in there ring. Once somebody is pinned or submits, they are eliminated. The match keeps going until there is one winner. This match is a nasty combination of Steel Cage and Hell in a Cell.
The first ever Elimantion Chamber match consisted of Triple H, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Kane and Rob Van Dam. Shawn Michaels was victorious after hitting his best friend Triple H with Sweet Chin Music.
10 Kane Unmasks for the First Time on RAW
Kane was in a World Heavyweight Championship match with Triple H, where usually the challenger has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Well, that scenario was different on this night. If Kane lost the match, he would have to remove his mask for the first time.
Kane dominated Triple H in the beginning of the match, knowing what the stakes were. Ric Flair was ringside and ended up getting involved when the referee was down and out. Despite outside interference, Kane still managed to have the upper hand on the worn out Triple H. With Flair out of the picture and Triple H still tired, Kane was up and ready to chokeslam him, when Randy Orton comes out of nowhere and RKO's Kane. Triple H then hits the Pedigree and that was all she wrote.
After the match, Flair, Orton and Triple H triple teamed Kane right when he was taking his mask over. RVD then comes down to the ring and saves Kane. After their scuffles, Kane reveals his face to the WWE Universe for the first time in his career, shocking the world. He then chokeslams RVD and leaves the ring.
9 The Rock Debuts at Survivor Series
The Most Electrifying Man in Entertainment, known then as Rocky Maivia, made his WWE debut at Survivor Series in 1996. The Rock was in a eight-man elimination tag team match, alongside Marc Mero, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the Stalker. This team took on opponents Crush, Goldust, Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H), and Jerry "The King" Lawler.
With Rocky being the only one from his team left in the match, he pinned both Crush and Goldust to give his team the Survivor Series victory. Three months later, Rocky went on to win his first title, by defeating Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship. After that, the Rock's career took off in WWE and Holllywood as an actor.
8 The Dudley Boyz v. The Hardy Boyz in First Tag Team Tables Match
Two of the best and most exciting tag teams to ever step foot in a ring brought a new match to WWE in a Tag Team Tables match, where each member of a tag team would have to go through a table.
The Hardy Boyz set the tone by putting Bubba Ray Dudley through the table first with a tag team high flying move. D-Von Dudley stayed in the match by avoiding both Hardy brothers as they tried to jump off the ropes to put D-Von's laying body through the table, but they both missed.
Although he was eliminated, Bubba Ray got back in the ring and power bombed Jeff Hardy through a table off the top rope. This match got exciting as Bubba Ray dragged Jeff in the audience to the balcony above a set of tables. Bubba Ray's planned backfired when he was hit with a chair, sending him backwards through the set of tables. Jeff then went to the extremes by hitting a Swanton Bomb off the balcony on a lifeless body of D-Von laying on a set of tables and winning their match.
7 Bob Backlund vs. Diesel
There is not much to say about this match mainly because it really did not last long. Bret Hart lost the title to Bob Backlund who would then place the gold on the line a few days later against Diesel.
As soon as the bell rung, the Diesel kicked Backlund in the midsection and hit him with his infamous Power Bomb, beating Backlund in a record time of eight seconds to become the brand new WWE Champion.
6 Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania XX
Benoit came into this Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship match as the underdog of all underdogs. Nobody expected Benoit to have any impact in this game. Early in the match, Benoit almost made Michaels tap, but Triple H grabbed his hand from the outside to stop the submission. With all three wrestlers bloodied and injured, it was anybody's match to win. Benoit put Triple H in a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring next, but right when it looked like Triple H was going to tap, Michaels hit Benoit with Sweet Chin Music. Michaels covered Benoit but he kicked out after a two-count.
After Benoit threw Michaels over the top rope, Triple H was waiting in the ring ready to deliver a Pedigree to Benoit. However, Benoit countered him into the Cripper Crossface and made Triple H tap out to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.
5 John Cena Returns at the Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble match consists of 30 superstars fighting to earn a chance to headline WrestleMania in the main event. Most Royal Rumbles have surprise entires that nobody sees coming, but this return may be the biggest one of all.
This epic Royal Rumble match started off with Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker being the first two entires. The first surprise came at entry umber 18 when Hall of Famer Jimmy "SuperFly" Snuka entered the match. Like that wasn't enough, the very next entry at number 19 was Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. So two Hall of Famers are in the match and most people don't expect anymore surprise entries, right?
Well, not exactly because at entry 23 another Hall of Famer Mick Foley entered the match. With a ring full of people, the building was at a standstill when John Cena's music played at entry number 30. In October 2007, Cena was diagnosed with a completely torn pectoralis major muscle from the bone, with his recovery time being from seven months to a year of rehabilitation. However, Cena returned in three months for the Royal Rumble.
The final four were Kane, Batista, Triple H and Cena. Cena went on to AA Triple H over the top rope to win the Royal Rumble.
4 Stone Cole Stunners Vince McMahon for First Time
Everybody knows about the feud between Vince and Stone Cold, but it all started on September 9, 1997 in MSG. Austin was on Raw and was about to get arrested by a group of police officers for violating a restraining order and then assaulting a police officer.
McMahon hops in the ring to settle things down and tells the officers to "hold up." McMahon then looks at Austin and continually asks him "What's wrong with you?" After McMahon told Austin he could not compete that night, Austin hit him with a Stunner right in the middle of the ring in front of the officers. He was then arrested and escorted out. Although it was a end to his night, it was a start to one of the best rivalries in the company.
3 3. Shawn Michaels Vs. Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X
In 1994, Michaels and Ramon fought in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship. The match started with both wrestlers using the ladders to injure their opponents, instead of using it to climb up and retain the title.
As Michaels climbed the ladder and was fingertips away from grabbing the belts above the ring, Ramon pushed the ladder into the ropes, causing Michaels to land awkwardly and get his foot caught between the top and middle rope. With Michaels hung up helplessly between the ropes, Ramon picked up the ladder and starting to climb toward the belts. Michaels cannot break free in time as Ramon grabs the belts and falls to the mat as the new Undisputed Intercontinental Champion.
2 Triple H Returns on RAW
After being out with in injury for eight months, Triple H would return on the first Raw episode of the year in 2002. Triple H received the biggest standing ovation in his career as MSG went crazy for his return. Triple H announced he was entering the Royal Rumble and then was interrupted by Kurt Angle. Angle also came out to announce that he was in the Royal Rumble, which already featured Stone Cold and The Undertaker.
Angle interrupting Triple H led to him getting Pedigreed in the middle of the ring. Triple H last eliminated Angle to win the Royal Rumble later that month, going on to Wrestlemania X8 and beating Chris Jericho to become the new Undisputed WWE Champion.
1 1. The First WrestleMania
The very first Wrestlemania took place at none other than MSG. This was the start of an epic event that is bigger today than it has ever been. WrestleMania is the Super Bowl of WWE.
This first WrestleMaina included stars such as Andre the Giant, Jimmy Hart, Ricky Steamboat, David and Bruno Sammartino, Junkyard Dog, The Iron Shiek, Hulk Hogan, Mr. T and Muhammad Ali.
Over the past 30 years, WrestleMania has grown into a worldwide phenomenon.
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