SmackDown is heading back to New York! The next month sees the Friday night WWE train roll into Albany’s MVP Arena on Apr. 22 before making a stop at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island on May 6 – and we CAN NOT WAIT.
The two events come fresh off the back of the recent visit to Brooklyn last month which saw the Main Event featuring RAW Tag Team Champions RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) versus Alpha Academy (Chad Gamble and Otis) as well as appearances from Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Ronda Rousey and the rest.
And with even more to look forward to over the next few weeks the rich history of WWE in New York continues.
Heading out to The Garden
New York has had a long and illustrious history of staging WWE events, from regular SmackDown Fridays and RAW match-ups in various city and state arenas to the most recent Annual Holiday Live shindig at the world-famous Madison Square Garden over Christmas.
There remains a real aura about the world’s biggest city that has kept its strong relationship with the WWE enterprise (in all of its former incarnations) going for 60 years. That aura is something that has extended to the superstars and divas themselves who take the opportunity to show the Big Apple what they can do.
The aforementioned Madison Square Garden is arguably the world’s prime event arena and holds a real sway on the whole of the WWE with star-studded events often being held every month. This was much to the delight of New York fans.
From 1985’s debut Wrestlemania and the first-ever SummerSlam three years later, to Royal Rumble and Survivor Series battles over the years, the Garden is almost synonymous as the biggest stage in wrestling.
Reigning all over New York
But it isn’t the only stage. Monday Night RAW made its bow in 1993 at the Manhattan Center, and famously even the WWII warship the USS Intrepid, based along the Hudson River at the West Side of Manhattan, has even seen official WWE action on its deck!
More recent events over the past 30 years have spread WWE’s reach all over the state and have culminated in the upcoming visits to Albany and Long Island after a near-decade hiatus.
Albany’s MVP Arena will host SmackDown for the first time in seven years and will see Universal Champion Roman Reigns and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos in a thrilling SIX-MAN tag-team match against Drew McIntyre, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Rick Boogs.
Meanwhile, The SmackDown Women’s Championship Match pits world-famous duo Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair against each other. There are also expected appearances from Intercontinental Champion Ricochet, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, and Naomi included.
That’s all on the card on Apr. 22 before the visit to Long Island’s Nassau VMC for the first time in NINE years to see Reigns and McIntyre go head-to-head and body-to-body for the Universal Championship, with Ronda Rousey and Naomi, teaming up to face-off against Flair and Sonya Deville in a Women’s Tag Team match.
Coming pretty soon after the recent visit to Brooklyn it all promises to be a big hit with the fans in New York – especially with those inclined to stake their wagers on the outcomes of these big-name battles.
Banking the big money
New York legalized sports betting at its commercial casinos in 2013 and followed that up in July 2019 to allow in-person sportsbooks.
And with gambling restrictions loosening state-by-state, the opportunities are vastly increasing for nationwide fans to wager with sportsbooks such as PointsBet NY amongst many others.
Even though Vince McMahon disavowed wrestling as a sport – instead preferring the official status of “sports entertainment” – you can find many bookmakers that still allow you to place money on the biggest wrestling events including the upcoming SmackDown.
But be wary of some huge shocks! McMahon loves a good storyline and over the years we have seen some huge upsets that have made some people some seriously big money – from Brock Lesnar’s 9-2 win over the big favorite Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 34 to Zack Ryder’s unreal 33-1 win two years prior.
The WWE betting odds for Lesnar-Reigns showed Reigns as the huge favorite but the fans were not interested in this match in the slightest – and so they were proved right. In a dreadful showing, arguably the worst main event in the history of the WWE, Lesnar’s victory was only great for those that bet big on him.
Long shots reap rewards
That wasn’t the only big money win involving Brock Lesnar. At Wrestlemania 30 he was 10-1 to overcome The (legendary) Undertaker who had not tasted defeat for 23 years. The streak did end, though, and earned some who backed his corner a healthy return from one of the biggest upsets in the WWE.
The aforementioned Zack Ryder’s 33-1 win over the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 32 was probably the number one huge upset, though.
The bookmakers’ odds told the story that nobody expected Ryder to end as champion – but when original winner Neville got injured in the build-up to the match, the competing wrestlers all came to the decision that Ryder would win. Anyone who bet on that with $50 would have claimed $1500 in winnings!
More upsets to come?
Looking ahead to the SmackDown visits to New York state over the next few weeks, there could be even further upsets on the cards. With the popularity of sister event Monday Night Raw, the WWE hierarchy know they may have to tweak things to keep the betting interest high when it comes to SmackDown.
And that could mean built-in shocks that keep the money flowing for those fans inclined to go long with their odds. Roman Reigns is easily the favorite to hold the title but as we have shown above… ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.
And New York can’t wait to see what might.
by Nathan Auty