Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling set to collide at Madison Square Garden
Last night, Ring of Honor announced they will be joining forces with New Japan Pro Wrestling to host an event titled: G1 Supercard, live from Madison Square Garden on April 6th, 2019.
This show will be rivaling a WWE event: NXT Takeover in Brooklyn which takes place on the same night and also in New York City.
The WWE has vigorously held the monopoly on certain buildings throughout the years, with Madison Square Garden being the most notable. Just a few months back, Ring of Honor COO publicly spoke out about how they had a deal with MSG to host an event there sometime next year, but after communications with WWE, the arena had since backed out.
“I’m not going to discuss beyond this statement because I am not going to litigate this in the press. We had a deal with [Madison Square] Garden and they then told us they were backing out after communications from the WWE. We are not able to get any other dates in any kind of discussion. I’m expecting that our lawyers will be contacting all the parties involved and the best we can hope is that we can find a resolution, so we can bring the kind of energy and excitement that ROH and our partner New Japan to a bigger audience and to bigger arenas and to the fans of New York City.”
Seems like either WWE couldn’t hold them off forever, or they squashed whatever deal they had but ROH and NJPW offered an even better and bolder proposition that MSG couldn’t say no to.
Earlier this week, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer had more to say regarding WWE’s stranglehold over certain arena’s:
“When talking about buildings that ROH or nobody but WWE can get, it appears the Staples Center in Los Angeles is another one. Cody noted this past week that he had tried to talk with them about hosting All In and was pretty much told that they weren’t interested in any wrestling that wasn’t WWE.”
This is in reference to All-In, which is being organized and funded by Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks.
This is… earth-shattering. Nobody in the history of sports entertainment has promoted a wrestling event from the Garden without the name McMahon. What that means is this the first time any wrestling promotion outside of the WWE umbrella that’s gotten a spot at the world’s most famous arena. A bigger audience for the 2 companies has never been seen in the United States. Much of social media is blowing up about how they’re already willing to abandon going to anything WWE related that weekend after hearing about this show. I want them to succeed, and sell out more than ever, because I’m tired of WWE being the only thing people see of this sport. I want a bigger audience for the companies that are putting on the good shows while WWE fumbles and climbs the ranks and makes billion-dollar TV deals. This is especially good for NJPW who have been trying to increase their expansion in the west for the last year.
My only question and perhaps, my concern is whether or not this event will be broadcasted live to viewers. The announcement said “Live From,” not “Live At,” so that gives me some hope it will be live for those who don’t attend the event. MSG is known for having astronomical fees attached to broadcasting events from their building, and I can’t imagine ROH and NJPW even together would profit from that if they did. But even if they didn’t make a profit long-term, this will no doubt put them in a stronger position to make more money down the line as they grow and expand.
The biggest NJPW stars: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito have been announced for the event. More details are presumably to follow as we get nearer to 2019. Check out the announcement video below.
Braden Jackson – @Dembrae
Image provided by Ring of Honor official Twitter – @ringofhonor