The Meadowlands Arena has a minor amount of prestige, but it’s not in the same legendary league as Madison Square Garden is. With WWE releasing the collection of best matches from Madison Square Garden DVD/bluray collection soon, it’s a perfect time to look back at an article from the Bleacher Report that’s a couple of years old now
. The article puts the spotlight on the Rodney Dangerfield of arenas, one that most likely will never receive the same DVD/bluray tribute that MSG is getting.
The Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ never really got much respect. I always felt that New Jersey got the shaft when it came to getting killer WWE/F events. It doesn’t make much sense either since the Meadowlands has always been a huge supporter of WWE. The arena indeed held WWE events and pay per views, but not many of them are considered classics.
As a guy who’s spent his entire life as a WWE fanatic, it’s a pleasure reading about all the great WWE moments that happened at the Meadowlands through the years. The problem is that the 10 best WWE Izod Center moments are probably, well, ALL OF THEM. The good stuff rarely happened in Jersey – they usually saved it all for the Garden, and rightfully so.
The tri-state area has always been WWE’s central location to run shows. I’ve read articles through the years in WWE magazine that barely acknowledge Jersey as one of the WWE’s hotbeds for live shows. Simply an outrage. New York fans will travel to Jersey for an event and vice versa. There’s also fans coming in from Pennsylvania and Connecticut as well, so it’s not a place that people despise going to. Just because the Meadowlands Arena building itself is not as prestigious or as historic as The Garden doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a venue where big stuff happens.
Yes, it was certainly cool to have Wrestlemania 29 here in Jersey, not New York like most of the advertising materials would leave you to believe. ‘Mania wasn’t at Izod Center because Vince McMahon set his sights on stadiums for the big event long ago, so, Izod’s big brother, Metlife Stadium was home to the event. Izod settled for housing WWE’s Fan Axxess. We’ll take what we can get.
Back to the article I’m pointing you to at The Bleacher Report. It’s far from being a favorite site of mine, in fact, I can’t stand the site. Websites that presents every article as a slideshow and make you click NEXT to continue to the next part piss me off. It’s not the fault of the writers, because they do a bang up job, it’s just the site in general tries to be so elite and they come off as too mainstream for my taste. I prefer more fan-based coverage when it comes to pro-wrestling, not a football writer assigned to report on wrestling.
In this case, writer Robert Aitken does an excellent job putting together an in-depth look back at some of the most historic WWE moments that took place at the Meadowlands area, then known as Brendan Byrne Arena, later Continental Airlines Arena, and presently Izod Center. It’s all information that can be found around the Internet, but it’s nice to read it all in one spot. The article takes us from Saturday Night’s Main Event all the way through 3 Summerslams and various other events along the way. There goes the rest of my old school WWE content! This article pretty much uses it all up. Thanks Bleacher Report, you jerks!
Until I found this article, I thought I’d be the only one around to be compelled to write something like this, since Izod Center is not even a bastard stepchild of MSG, it’s more of a third cousin with a limp. I’ve actually attended many of the events that Aitken writes about and, if you are so inclined, you can also check out my column about WWE/WWF Event Cards from New Jersey, one of which I even made custom for the article! These posts highlights event card sheets from WWE house shows, TV tapings, and other events I attended through the years.
WWE comes to Izod Center on September 7th, 2013
For more info click here.