WWE NXT returns to Tampa on Saturday, December 9th at the University Area CDC gym, with a 7:30 p.m. bell time. The Tampa Bay area has a long history with professional wrestling. Tampa hosted NXT’s predecessor, Florida Championship Wrestling, and before that was the long-running Championship Wrestling From Florida promotion with weekly shows at the Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory in Tampa (now the Tampa Jewish Community Center). Tampa is always a popular location for TV and pay-per-view tapings at the area's larger venues, like the USF Sun Dome and Amalie Arena.
That tradition continues with WWE NXT Live hosting shows throughout the Tampa Bay area. The University Area CDC gym is one of NXT’s largest venues on the Florida show circuit, and it makes for a lively crowd. With general admission tickets at only $10, NXT is one of the best entertainment values in Tampa. Gold Circle tickets are also available for $20, but those go fast.
The Tampa shows have a small concession stand, with proceeds benefitting programs hosted at the University Area CDC. There are more beer choices than you might expect for the $3 price, with Corona, Heineken, Amber Bock, Bud, Bud Light, and Miller all in rotation on the menu. A $5 combo meal includes a hot dog, chips, and a soft drink.
WWE NXT brings some of the most talented wrestlers in the world to Tampa for an entertaining date night or family outing. NXT has free meet-and-greets with selected wrestlers beginning 30 minutes before the show, perfect for kids. The smaller setting allows the crowd to interact with the talent in the ring, making the event feel as much like improv comedy as professional wrestling. Watch for tag teams Heavy Machinery and Street Profits to get the crowd involved and make sure everyone is having a great time.
The Tampa shows provide a personal connection with several of the wrestlers. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Sabby Piscitelli now wrestles in NXT as Tino Sabbatelli. There’s always a “Go Bucs” or the famous "Tampa Bay" call and response chant when he appears in Tampa. Roderick Strong is also a graduate of Riverview High School.
Nearly every WWE wrestler trains at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and wrestles for NXT. Today’s well-known WWE superstars like Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens, Bayley, Charlotte Flair, and Sami Zayn all passed through the University Area CDC gym on their way up the chain. You may see the next big WWE superstar at the WWE NXT show on Saturday, December 9th.