This coming Monday, WWE returns to the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, the home of next year's Wrestlemania. There is no place more fitting to hold an event of this magnitude considering that MSG was the sight of the first Wrestlemania in 1985. Later tonight, we'll take a look at the event that propelled the WWE to where it is today and see why Madison Square Garden was such a big reason. For the better part of the last century, wrestling has been a fixture at Madison Square Garden and so has the McMahon family. Just 20 years ago, wrestling was divided into multiple territories with the World Wide Wrestling Federation, currently the WWE occupying the northeast portion of the United States. The northeast territory enabled the McMahons to call Madison Square Garden their home. It began with Vince's grandfather, Jess McMahon, a boxing promoter for Madison Square Garden who in 1935 started to add wrestling to the card. Eventually, Vince McMahon, Sr. took over the business and at one point, sold out MSG 21 consecutive times. For all of his amazing work, Vince McMahon, Sr. was inducted to Madison Square Garden's Hall of Fame back in 1984. When Vince, Jr. took over the business from his father, he took a small territory and made it into a global phenomenon. But even now with TV programming seen in over 100 countries, the WWE still only calls one place its home. With that, they took us to a video package, highlighting the WWE at MSG. Jerry Lawler talked about Madison Square Garden and how Vince's father always considered MSG the premiere venue for wrestling. That makes it special for everyone involved in the WWE. Stephanie McMahon said that she feels the presence of her grandfather in the Garden and every show they ever do there, it's always very special to her. Bob Orton, Sr. (Randy Orton's grandfather) wrestled in New York in 1961 for Vince McMahon's father. They held the old garden show once a month and they sold it out 15 straight months in a row. A sellout is a sellout, but they drew the biggest house in the Garden for any event. They turned 10,000 people away but they kept selling tickets with people sitting in the aisle and on the steps. It was something. Freddie Blassie (taped in 2002) put Madison Square Garden over as the number one place. When you appeared there, you knew you reached the top. Tony Garea spoke about the Garden and his first match in the Garden was in late 1972. Pedro Morales was the Champion and before that, it was Bruno that made the Garden a wrestling pinnacle and then Superstar Billy Graham. The Fabulous Moolah was one of the first ladies to wrestle in Madison Square Garden in 1972. There's just so much to say about Madison Square Garden; there's nothing like it. Every moment that you can think of in history usually stemmed from Madison Square Garden because they would always go there once a month. Tommy Dreamer has so many great moments from the Garden because he would go almost every month. He was a faithful and he remembers Snuka jumping off the cage, Sgt. Slaughter in a boot camp match against Pat Patterson, Hulk Hogan walking out and beating the Iron Sheik. The WWE gave Tommy Dreamer so many great moments and they happened in Madison Square Garden. Jim Ross stated that the Garden is the Mecca and it always brings out the greatest in the performers. Not only that, but it brings out the best in the audience. Howard Finkel said that the Garden and the WWE has always been the perfect blend. When Rocky Maivia came out in the Garden, there was so much history there with his family that you just saw magic that night. (The Rock's debut in 1996.) Tazz said that when he showed up at the Garden at the Rumble in 2000, he was a bundle of nerves. That night was the best night in his life; wrestling Kurt Angle at the Garden. He'll never forget that. Jim Ross said that he doesn't think he heard anything like the reception that Triple H got at Madison Square Garden. Jim doesn't know of any place on earth that was more fitting for his return. It was hallowed ground for his predecessors and it'll be hallowed ground after Triple H is gone. That was probably the only place he should have returned at. It's a performer's dream to perform at the Garden. Many wrestlers would have never had the chance to wrestle at the Garden unless they came to the WWE. Madison Square Garden is the pulse of the WWE. It starts in New York City and the Garden. The Garden has a lot of history and every great performer has wrestled at the Garden. You always know that at some point in time, another piece of history is going to happen in that building.moreless
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