When WWE Champion CM Punk and Ryback enter Hell in a Cell on Oct. 28 inside Atlanta’s Philips Arena, they’ll be standing on hallowed ground.
Before Philips Arena opened in 1999, one of the most historic arenas in wrestling stood on its site: The Omni Coliseum. The wrestling mecca of the South, The Omni played host to four Starrcades and countless events presented by Georgia Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling. Fans flocked to see legends like Ric Flair, Mr. Wrestling II, The Road Warriors and many others.
But it was on one fateful October night 29 years ago that wrestling history was born. Fans tuning into TBS each Saturday night had the date and time pounded into their heads: Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8:30 p.m. Two of Georgia’s biggest stars would collide for the final time. To ensure that the fight stayed in the ring, officials declared the ring would be fully enclosed in a steel cage with a roof.
After tearing the South apart with chaotic brawl after chaotic brawl for nearly two years, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich and “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer would be locked inside the hellacious structure to settle the score once and for all. The brutal battle that ensued inside The Omni set the stage for the Superstars of today. WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels recalled the vicious encounter and came up with the idea that evolved into one of WWE’s most dangerous bouts: Hell in a Cell...More?