Nerd Culture

WWE Smackdown Returns to Phoenix in October

US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix has hosted plenty of big battles during its 23-year lifespan – and were not only referring to all the showdowns by the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Rattlers with their respective opponents. Over the decades, the venue (which will soon be rebranded as Talking Stick Resort Arena) has also hosted championship boxing, UFC bouts, and even a hockey donnybrook or two when it was the home of the Arizona Coyotes.

And then there are all the epic bouts featuring the superstars of the WWE that have taken place at the arena since the mid 1990s, including five different pay-per-views, numerous episodes of both Raw and SmackDown, and several untelevised events.

You can add another entry to that list, as the WWE is scheduled to return to downtown this fall when it will tape an episode of SmackDown at the arena on Tuesday, October 27.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and will also include the taping of matches for another weekly show, Main Event, that airs on both the WWE Network and Hulu Plus.

Given that the WWE's storylines are constantly evolving, it's a little tricky to predict what sort of matches will be featured during either show. That said, the WWE website is advertising that current world heavyweight champ Seth Rollins is scheduled to appear at the event, along with Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and Sheamus (a.k.a. “The Celtic Warrior”).

 We're also willing to bet that hometown hero Dolph Ziggler, a current Valley resident, and Scottsdale natives Brie and Nikki Bella will make some sort of appearance over the course of the evening. 

The SmackDown taping also occurs two days after the WWE's annual Hell in a Cell showdown, which will take place in L.A., and there's typically some major storyline advancement that happens during the shows th immediately following such big events. 

And if last year's taping of SmackDown at the arena is any indication, it's certainly going to be fun to watch. Plus, there's a chance you might be on TV, if only for a split second. 

Better start thinking up an eye-catching sign to bring with you.

WWE SmackDown takes place on Tuesday, October 27, at US Airways Center. Tickets are $20 to $105. 
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.