The Pepsi Center: Where Scheduling Conflicts Happen
As NBA-WWE crossovers go, this has to rank pretty low. Lower, even, than Dennis Rodman’s brief but flamboyant appearances in the ring, although slightly higher than Karl Malone’s awkward foray into the world of wrestling. It’s no wonder that these events are so lacklustre when you consider how little the NBA and WWE have in common. The WWE, after all, focuses largely on rendering their sport more entertaining (and therefore more lucrative), with the commissioner deciding the outcome of each contest beforehand depending on which competitor is more popular with the fans. In the NBA, meanwhile….oh, wait.
For those who haven’t yet caught the story, the short version is this: The WWE booked the Pepsi Center way back on April the fifteenth of last year as the stage for a taping of their "WWE Monday Night Raw" show. Kroenke Sports Enterprises, who own the building and, presumably, an NBA schedule, bet the farm on the fact that the Nugs would have flamed out (as is their annual custom) of the postseason by the time the conference finals rolled around, and saw no problem in promising the WWE use of the arena.
The spanner in the works came when the Nuggets found their form in the western semis, treating the Dallas Mavericks as if they’d just dropped the soap in a prison shower and sending them home in five games. Now that they’re primed to face off against the Lakers at home the same night the WWE were planning to set up shop in the Pepsi Center, there’s an insurmountable conflict.
Those are the facts, and here’s what the interested parties had to say about the situation:
"Even though the Denver Nuggets had a strong team this year and were projected to make the playoffs. Obviously Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke did not have enough faith in his own team to hold the May 25 date for a potential playoff game." – Vince McMahon
While that statement may not go far past passive-aggressive, this one does:
"We’re going to show up. Our trucks are rolling." – McMahon again
That sounds like the prelude to an ass-kicking right there. In fact, that could be the way to settle the dispute. Those wrestlers may be juiced up to their eyeballs, but throw any of those lycra-clad actors in a cage with Kenyon Martin, and I’d put my cash on the latter. Just flash a photo of Mark Cuban in front of him and the rumble would be over before it started.
Update: Our cousins over at WrestleZone say that Monday Night Raw could now take place in Colorado Springs. If not, the WWE have also received offers to stage the event in Madison Square Garden and, coincidentally, the Staples Center.