WWE is making a second visit to Fresno this year.
The city as well as the greater central San Joaquin Valley certainly love their professional wrestling.
Years before the WWE started to swing through town – roughly biannually at Save Mart Center the past few years, usually for non-televised events – the Fresno area had become enough of a pro wrestling hot spot that a few big pay-per-view events took place here.
There was “Royal Rumble” in 2005 at Save Mart Center, highlighted by Batista beating John Cena to conclude the 30-man match.
Almost a decade earlier, the 1996 Royal Rumble was held at Selland Arena, with a lot of old-school wrestlers entertaining the Valley as well as millions watching on TV.
Steve Austin, too – back when he was known as the “Ringmaster,” rather than by what would become his more popular nickname: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Shawn Michaels won the 30-man Royal Rumble.
And in between the two Rumbles in Fresno, “Fully Loaded: In Your House” was a pay-per-view event at Selland Arena.
That main event was for the Tag Team championship of the WWF (as it was known before changing to WWE in 2002), with Kane and Mankind taking on The Undertaker and ”Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who was already a WWF champion at the time.
Undertaker and Stone Cold won, with the former providing his special finishing move called the “Tombstone Piledriver” on Kane before pinning him.
What’s your favorite WWE memory in Fresno?
And who’s your favorite wrestler and tag team from the past or present?
Though Saturday’s matches won’t be televised for others beyond Fresno to enjoy, the event still could generate lasting memories for those in attendance.
Roman Reigns takes on Braun Strowman while John Cena faces Bray Wyatt as part of the headliner matches.
BACK IN FRESNO
- Vitals: Saturday at Save Mart Center
- Doors open: 6:30 p.m.
- Matches begin: 7:30 p.m.
- Featured bouts: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt, an Intercontinental championship match between the winner of the night’s battle royal vs. The Miz W Maryse
- Tickets: Prices range from $15-$100