For the first time since the formation of the WWWF, a non-WWE event will be taking place at MSG (Madison Square Garden). WWE also has provided a comment about the news.
Earlier this week, Ring of Honor announced that they will be hosting G1 Supercard, a joint show with New Japan Pro Wrestling at Madison Square Garden on Saturday April 6, 2019. This is also the date that WWE will be hosting NXT Takeover in the Barclays Center, which is located six miles away.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) July 12, 2018
ROH COO Joe Koff spoke to the New York Post about the company’s MSG debut and said:
“It certainly changed the landscape in the thinking of what is is possible and I think in this world of possibility I think they really clearly illuminated what is a possible,” Koff told The Post in a phone interview. “I think if there was ‘All In’ or not, because of the weekend and what it represents, and our involvement always in that weekend, we probably would have thought a little more cautiously about the size of the crowd. [‘All In’] certainly didn’t hurt.”
Koff also talked about how the negotiations between ROH and MSG went and how a reported phone call from WWE made the arena back out of negotiations in mid-June.
“I think that’s a question better asked of Madison Square Garden because we were very aggressive in wanting that date and we thought we had that date, but we did what we had to do as a business,” Koff said. “[MSG] did what they had to do as a business and I guess all of a sudden there was a phone call and we were able to work it out. … That’s probably their story to tell because they made the call [to us] and said let’s get on the phone and see if we can work this out. They wanted us. They knew that we would be good promotion. I think they were just looking for a satisfactory outcome for all parties.”
Koff went on to say that the agreement had to do with WWE’s choice of Wrestlemania, since other promotions run events with the hopes of drawing new eyes. He added that this would be a different situation if WWE chose to run Wrestlemania in Boston or Chicago.
WWE issued a statement after the date was finalized saying, “MSG is, of course, free to work with ROH however they want.”
WWE has been using the Barclays Center more since its opening in September 2012 due to the lower costs for the company. However, WWE still uses MSG for house shows and will be interesting to see how the relationship goes from here. As noted, this is the first non-WWE wrestling event in Madison Square Garden since the creation of WWE.