Impact of the Manhattan Center on Pro Wrestling
Living in the heart of Manhattan, is a ballroom that has showcased infamous wrestling events, and has created unforgettable memories.
The Hammerstein Ballroom is a two tiered, 12,000 square-foot room, located within the Manhattan Center Studios on West 34th street. The Manhattan Center was constructed in 1906 by Oscar Hammerstein I as the Manhattan Opera House. This would be the home, for his Manhattan Opera Company.
With such a rich history, who would’ve thought, that the Manhattan Center, would host some of the most hardcore, extreme wrestling events in history?
In the early 90’s, WWE saw the Hammerstein Ballroom, as a great location, for their new show, Monday Night Raw, circa 1993. Every Monday night, Vince McMahon would commentate, over his live action packed show. Featuring top notch talent like Shawn Michaels, Psycho Sid, Diesel and Alundra Blayze.
A local wrestling promotion from Philly, know famously now as ECW, started to make an impact on the north east in the mid-nineties. They gained a cult like following, and it was a no brainer that the company, would eventually take their show to the Manhattan Center.
ECW put on pay per views like “Guilty as Charged” and ‘Massacre on 34th street”. ECW made such an impact on the Hammerstein Ballroom, that whenever there is a pro wrestling event at The Manhattan Center, a chant of “ECW” would erupt if a daring move is pulled off by a wrestler. The cult like ECW fans still flock to this arena to see local wrestling promotions like Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA and TNA.
With TNA having some TV Tapings at the arena, it helps to bring in, a new generation of fans, who will fall in love with the gritty, low key, essence of the Manhattan Center.
The history of Pro wrestling and the Manhattan Center will always be intertwined. I can truly say, from personal experience, that you can feel the electricity and excitement of the building when you walk in and you will not leave disappointed.
If you are in the New York area, do yourself a favor, and check out a Indy wrestling event at the Manhattan Center, and prepare to be entertained.