Sunday, 4 Jun 2023

The History of WWE at the Erwin Center

Applause WWE Feature Graphic

The Frank Erwin Center has a long history with WWE, which has brought wrestling mania to Austin for decades. In fact, a 1998 edition of the Applause magazine features The Rock back when he was called “Rocky Maivia”! Over the years, we’ve seen a passionate base of WWE fans who contribute to an energetic atmosphere at every brawl. Read on for a few of our favorite moments and Superstars in WWE at the Erwin Center!

A Tale of Three Photos

One of our favorite moments has to be the mock Texas vs. OU showdown between Mark Henry and Damien Sandow. Texas native Mark Henry proudly returned to his hometown to compete in the ring, only to face opponent Sandow dressed in an OU uniform. “The World’s Strongest Man” threw up the horns at the start of the match, and proceeded to completely annihilate his Sooner opponent. The eyes of Texas were upon Henry as he secured the win with a final slam to the ground. Hook ’em Horns indeed.

Women in WWE

Many women wrestlers have graced the ring at the Frank Erwin Center throughout the years. Chyna, “The Ninth Wonder of the World,” joined the Raw is War Tour in 1998 (back when it was called WWF). Chyna was followed in subsequent years by Hall of Famer Lita, with her high-flying lucha libre moves. Bayley, a childhood fan of Lita, has become a champion in the ring herself and joined the 2016 show at the Erwin Center. Other WWE Women Superstars we have seen on past tours include Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce.

(Some) Favorite WWE Tour Pros


Sorry, we had to. 😉

We’ve seen our fair share of Superstars-turned-movie stars at the Erwin Center, notably Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, Edge and Hulk Hogan. Seth Freakin’ Rollins joined the Austin event in 2016, as well as Roman Reigns in 2019. The Undertaker showed up in 2000, and returned for a comeback just last year. Our venue has hosted many household WWE names throughout the years, giving Austinites a chance to see their favorite wrestlers battle in the ring live in person.

The McMahons

The McMahons, a name synonymous with WWE, have been a part of the touring production in years past. Siblings Shane and Stephanie (as well as her husband, Triple H) appeared in 2000 and 2014, respectively. In addition, pioneer of pro wrestling Vince McMahon led the show in 2008 with his signature commentary.

Frank Erwin Center Fans

From hardcore, longtime fans who show up with homemade signs, to kids experiencing their first show, there is nothing that beats the energy of a live wrestling event. The WWE Superstars on tour each have their own faction of passionate supporters, which creates unmatched enthusiasm. Although the TV program is great in its own right, the experience of watching with hundreds of other screaming fans is unparalleled. We love hearing from our WWE fans! They are always vocal and restless with excitement about when the next WWE event will be at the Erwin Center.

While we wait for the day we can pack the arena again, we’re taking a stroll down memory lane and looking back at some of our annual events such as the Harlem Globetrotters, iHeartCountry Festival, UT Fashion Show and more. Check out our latest posts on the Applause blog!

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