A Tourist's Guide to WWE Hell in a Cell 2015 in Los Angeles
While Los Angeles is typically known as the City of Angels, October gets a bit more sinister as WWE returns to the West Coast for the 2015 edition of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.
Emanating from the Staples Center on Sunday, October 25, WWE arrives in a city steeped in wrestling tradition. From the AWA in the late 1960s to ECW in the 90s to a flourishing independent wrestling scene today, Los Angeles has always been a wrestling hotbed.
This year’s edition of the Hell in a Cell PPV is building even more anticipation by adding a blockbuster main event featuring the rubber match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker inside the steel structure. Add in a card that also includes Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins vs. Kane, and this event will be another chapter in LA’s storied wrestling history.
The location with arguably the most wrestling history, though, is the home of Sunday’s Hell in a Cell show, the Staples Center. Not only has WWE run memorable shows like Unforgiven 2002, Judgment Day 2004 and even WrestleMania 21 in 2005 from the building, but the arena was also home of the company’s second-largest PPV, SummerSlam, from 2009-2014.
The Staples Center doesn’t offer public tours due to the massive amount of sporting events and concerts that are hosted in the building each year, but wrestling fans should arrive as soon as the doors open in order to walk around and get a feel for the history that took place inside.
For travelers who arrive in Los Angeles on Saturday with the intention of exploring the city, there are several sites you must visit before heading back home. Three miles south of the Staples Center is Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, where part of WrestleMania 2 was held and where Hulk Hogan defeat Sgt. Slaughter for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania VII.
Another forgotten gem in wrestling that took place at Memorial Sports Arena was the AAA When Worlds Collide show. In 1994, WCW and Mexican-wrestling promotion AAA teamed up to put on one of the first true Luchadores shows on American PPV with a card that featured legends like Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr.
Unfortunately, there are plans to build a new Major League Soccer stadium on the property and knock down the Memorial Sports Arena, according to Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News. Before it’s too late, wrestling fans should flock to the area while you still can to soak in a piece of history.
There are two other old-school wrestling locations that should be on your itinerary, and they are The Forum in Inglewood and Grand Olympic Auditorium. One of The Forum’s claims to wrestling fame is holding one of the only West Coast shows American Wrestling Association ever produced in 1969. On that AWA card, legends like Verne Gagne, Lou Thesz, Larry Hennig and others graced the building.
As for the Grand Olympic Auditorium, it is currently a Korean-American Christian church, but it still holds serious wrestling clout. For those who loved the East Coast-based Extreme Championship Wrestling, the building hosted the only West Coast PPV in the federation’s history, ECW Heat Wave 2000.
After a long day of exploring the wrestling hotspots, it’s time to unwind with a hearty meal of local cuisine and some cold cocktails. When you want to eat and drink like a local, you ask a local like Matthew Kang of Eater.com. His list of top locations is a must for anyone trying to experience the authentic LA food scene.
For those interested, NXT is also holding a live show Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. It’s a long drive — or a quick flight — but could be worth it for some of the hardcore fans.
Once you enjoy the Los Angeles nightlife and wake up refreshed on Sunday, it’s time to visit a few places in the city where wrestling currently thrives. The two most popular promotions in the area are Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in Reseda and Lucha Underground in Boyle Heights.
As of right now, PWG does not have a show scheduled for Hell in a Cell weekend, but taking the trip out to Reseda —use Uber to avoid driving yourself in LA traffic — to American Legion Post No. 308 where all the action takes place is a must.
Next, travel down to Boyle Heights in downtown LA and visit the Lucha Underground Arena — actually an old warehouse — dubbed by the fans of the company as The Temple. While the show is not currently taping, the ball is rolling on a second season and you can experience the place where all the magic happens.
When wrestling fans have stomached all the wrestling history, NXT and local food they can handle, it will be time to make their way back to the Staples Center for the 2015 edition of WWE’s Hell in a Cell.
Top 5 WWE cities in my opinion 1. Chicago 2. NY/NJ area 3. St. Louis 4. Philadelphia 5. Los Angeles— PWM (@ProWrestlingMag) September 29, 2015
With a wrestling card highlighted by Brock Lesnar, Undertaker and John Cena — three of the biggest stars in the history of the sport — Hell in a Cell will be the perfect culmination of a weekend exploring the wrestling history of Los Angeles.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).
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