For a few brief but memorable years between 1999 and 2003, wrestling and music were involved in a head-on collision at one of New York’s most prestigious locations. The Paramount Theatre, located at 43rd and Broadway in Times Square, was first opened in 1926 and grew to become one of the premier theatre venues in the city until its closure in 1964.
Thereafter, it was used mainly for office space until a section of the building was leased to the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) who converted it into a themed club and restaurant. Initially known as the WWF New York, the name was later switched to The World (WWE) after a legal battle with the World Wildlife Foundation forced the organisation to adopt a different acronym.
The establishment was officially opened in 1999 by a launch party headed by rock band Sugar Ray. Although described by the media as a themed restaurant, the venue did not feature much in the way of wrestling décor or memorabilia but it did broadcast many live wrestling events on its giant screens. What’s more, many wrestlers made guest appearances and the club staged many live broadcasts related to PPV events. There was also a WWE store on site.
On Saturday nights, The World became a music destination featuring hip hop and techno DJs, who would keep guests entertained from 11pm until 4 AM. The venue also played host to live rock bands, such as UK heavy metal legends Motorhead. In fact, of all the gigs held in the underground rock haven, it was the one featuring the British headbangers that was most fondly remembered.
Such is Motorhead’s longevity that their music still sells well today, and there is an ongoing demand for some of their previously unreleased material to be published. Motorhead fans can still purchase a wide range of merchandise from their official website, and there is even a Motorhead-themed slot game available at Sloty online casino. The title is a 5-reel, 76-line video slot, featuring the imagery and music associated with Lemmy and his bandmates.
By the time they hit the stage at The World on April 30, 2002, the band had already been in existence for more than 25 years and had sold over 10 million albums. They had a cult following that included those in rock and wrestling circles. In 2001, professional wrestler Triple H began using Motorhead’s “The Game” as his walk-on theme. As a result, the band performed the tune live at several wrestling events. When lead singer Lemmy passed away in 2015, Triple H spoke at his funeral.
And so it was that in a dark underground corner of Times Square, away from the slick neon signs and commercial mayhem, a different kind of chaos played out. Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee created the kind of noise that only a band that has been perfecting its craft for so many years can muster. A deafening white noise that is somehow honed into an audible joy. Remarkably, after 25 years, Motorhead were still improving, and a couple of thousand lucky New Yorkers were there to witness a set of thundering genius.