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This weekend, downtown Minneapolis will be at the epicenter of the pro-wrestling world as it hosts not one, not two, but three major events.

All Elite Wrestling, the upstart promotion that has enjoyed huge success since launching in 2019, will make its Minnesota debut at the Target Center with its TNT show Rampage on Friday night, followed by its hotly anticipated Full Gear pay-per-view on Saturday, which will feature bouts including Hangman Adam Page vs. Kenny Omega, CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston, and Miro vs. Bryan Danielson.

As the perfect chaser, Sunday night at First Avenue, Minnesota’s own top promotion F1rst Wrestling is holding its inaugural Unleashed event, featuring returning hometown legend Ariya Davari taking on independent wrestling icon Christopher Daniels in their first ever meeting.

Such an unprecedented weekend is likely to see a spike in wrestling fans arriving from all over the world to witness the culmination of years-long storylines, first-time-ever dream matches and all the excitement that the squared circle can offer.

But for those visiting who want even more wrestling-related activities, or those here locally looking to do a rasslin’ pilgrimage, we’ve put together a selection of locations that have seen iconic Minnesota wrestling moments!

Mall of America

The location most out-of-towners were already probably planning to visit, the Mall of America played host to one of the most significant nights in wrestling history.

In 1995, Ted Turner’s WCW (World Championship Wrestling) promotion held its very first Monday Nitro telecast here in the shadow of Camp Snoopy, the first shot fired in what would become the most lucrative and inescapable era in wrestling history as WCW went toe-to-toe with Vince McMahon's WWF.

Mayslack’s (1428 4th Street NE)

Founded by mid-century wrestler Stan Myslajek at the end of his in-ring career, beloved Nordeast staple Mayslack’s also has a connection to more modern wrestling that’s thankfully been captured on film.

The iconic fight scene from Verne Gagne’s 1974 film The Wrestler (the one with Ed Asner, no relation to Mickey Rourke) was shot here and now visiting fans can have a drink and conduct business there today just like “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch did almost 50 years ago!

Xcel Energy Water Power Park (206 SE Main Street)

Minneapolis is home to another instantly-recognizable wrestler’s big screen debut. Before he was AEW’s Paul Wight, and even before he was WWE’s The Big Show, he was 'The Giant' and made his feature film bow in 1996’s Jingle All the Way.

A featured cameo as a larger-than-life Santa in a scene that also featured Arnold Schwarzenegger, Verne Troyer and James “Jim” Belushi kickstarted the 7-foot-tall Wight’s cinematic endeavors and was shot across from the St. Anthony Main Theaters at what’s now the Xcel Energy Water Power Park.

Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge (1900 Marshall St NE)

Before it was Gabby's and Psycho Suzi's, this bar was the real rough and rugged Gramma B’s that several of the top wrestlers of the '80s served as bouncers at on their way to wrestling stardom.

Gabby's in 2009.

Gabby's in 2009.

Revisited by Road Warrior Animal in WWE’s 2005 Legion of Doom DVD (in lieu of an available clip, please enjoy the promo where Road Warrior Hawk wears a shirt promoting other Minneapolis favorite Runyon’s) the hallowed halls of Psycho Suzi’s were at one time hollowed-out by bodies tossed by the Road Warriors, Nord the Barbarian/The Berzerker, Demolition Smash/Barry Darsow, and Scott “Flash” Norton. 

The bar was tended by Ed Sharkey, a notable wrestler in his own right who has gone on to train several of the sport’s biggest stars.

Legacy Funeral Home (3720 East River Road, Fridley)

Speaking of Sharkey, he had a hand in training both Sean “X-Pac” Waltman (aka the 1-2-3 Kid) and “Dynamic” Jerry (“The New F’n Show”) Lynn, and the location that kicked off their decades-long feud can still be visited today.

In a previous life there was a venue called Roper's, and the spot that saw “Gentleman” Jerry Lynn face “The Lightning Kid” still reverberates action, even though it’s now the Minneapolis chapel belonging to Legacy Funeral Home. While you’re less likely to witness a cradle piledriver there these days, it’s very cool that a series of matches that went around the world started just up the road.

Roy Wilkins Auditorium (175 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul)

The one and only time beloved renegade wrestling promotion ECW came to Minnesota, it delivered perhaps the last great feel-good moment in the company’s history as returning local hero Jerry Lynn captured the World Championship in front of family and friends at the 2000 Anarchy Rulz pay-per-view.

This venue is still standing, so for ECW diehards, a visit is a must.

US Bank Stadium

Wrestling fans visiting Minneapolis for the first time who are unfamiliar with the city’s layout may wonder where the Metrodome (RIP) has gone.

Well, despite being demolished in 2014 to make room for US Bank Stadium, fans can still visit the ground where it once stood to party like it’s 1986 and do the Wrestlerock Rumble.

The Seville (15 Glenwood Ave)

Fans attending the events at the Target Center this weekend may be trying to find where exactly 1999’s hottest literal street fight went down when The Big Boss Man fought in a WWF SummerSlam hardcore match against Al Snow.

That location, once known at Blue’s Alley, is now The Seville Gentleman's Club. While the outside does retain structural similarities and is easy to find, we don’t recommend on-site brawling regardless how coveted your belt might be.

Chicago Lake Liquors (825 E Lake St)

A mainstay of “wrestlers in commercial” compilations from the tape-trading days and an unforgettable local ad for those outside the wrestling bubble, as former Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura starred in a commercial for Chicago Lake Liquors.

While it’s most recently been a favorite of rapper/mogul 50 Cent, we’ll always first think of Chicago Lake Liquors at where The Body gets his beer. You turkeys can still drink like the Governor does and take his own light rail on the way there!

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