The days of WWE having exclusive rights to Madison Square Garden are over. Four weeks after ROH was denied entry into MSG, it was announced last Thursday ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling would hold a joint show at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” on Friday, April 6, 2019. The show is titled G-1 Supercard, which is a combination of each promotion’s marquee events.
G-1 Supercard will be the first non-WWE pro wrestling event ever to be held at MSG. The timing of this show is even more intriguing because it takes place the day before WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The ROH/New Japan show will also run directly against the NXT TakeOver show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
ROH CEO Joe Koff claimed MSG had canceled their original date after they received “communication from WWE.” Koff stated the lawyers were handling it from there and the show announcement came unexpectedly with a surprise addition of New Japan added to the mix.
Vince McMahon cannot be happy, as 58 years of exclusivity is now a thing of the past. McMahon was able to block WCW from holding a show in the Garden during the height of the nWo era. The closest WCW came was holding two shows at the Paramount Theater (now known as the Hulu Theater) in April 1993 and June 1996.
MSG has become a costly place to hold events. James Dolan (owner of the New York Knicks and MSG) has consistently raised the fee. WWE hasn’t held a televised show at the Garden since 2011. Former WWE announcer Jim Ross addressed the expensive cost of running the Garden on his podcast stating
“the cost of the TV would far exceed the cost of the gate. We (WWE) did million dollar shows there several times there – that are Raws – but you lose money more likely than not. If you’re lucky, you might break even.”
Reportedly, the combined influence of ROH’s parent company Sinclair Broadcasting and the new president of New Japan, Harold Meij is what opened the doors for the two promotions on April 6.
Tickets for the event will go on sale on Wednesday, August 8th at 10:00 AM ET for members of ROH’s HonorClub streaming service and Friday, August 10th to the general public.
New Japan’s Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito along with “all of the top ROH stars” are confirmed for the show. You know who is not confirmed for the show. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks as their contracts are reportedly set to expire in January 2019.
ROH/New Japan running a show in the Garden during WrestleMania weekend in the same city is the most significant promotional blow WWE has taken since the demise of WCW. If McMahon wants to play hardball, he can offer Omega and the Bucks an exorbitant amount of money, as their absence would hurt the MSG show. WWE was probably going to make them an offer anyways, but now they have more incentive to do so.
Tickets for this show are not going to be cheap. Every show held at MSG is considerably more expensive than events held in other venues. No matter which way the cookie crumbles, April 6 will be a historic evening. The most important event in the history of ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling could signal the start of another wrestling war.
-ROH & NJPW press release
Baltimore, MD [07/12/18] – For 16 years, Ring of Honor Wrestling has created some of the top stars in professional wrestling, and for nearly 50 years, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has brought Japanese Strong Style to the world. Together, these two companies have delivered world class shows such as “War of the Worlds,” “Strong Style Evolved,” “Global Wars,” “Honor Rising,” and the “G1 Special,” which NJPW has launched as a special kickoff in the United States to their annual “G1 Climax,” known as one of the most elite tournaments in professional wrestling.
ROH and NJPW are proud to announce that on April 6th, 2019, the companies will join forces to present the ultimate wrestling event, “G1 Supercard,” to fans from around the world, LIVE from Madison Square Garden in New York City!
“Three years ago, one of our best fans told me in confidence that Supercard of Honor just didn’t feel “super” anymore, said Greg Gilleland, ROH General Manager. “He was right and we took that to heart with the huge events we delivered in Lakeland, FL in 2017, and New Orleans, LA just a few months ago. With consecutive record breaking attendances, the question became, how can we top that in 2019? More importantly, how can we give the fans more of what they want and what they deserve? The G1 Supercard is an event that can only represent the absolute best possible matches with both NJPW and ROH stars, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for them.”
“This is a historic initiative for ROH and New Japan Pro-Wrestling,” Harold Meij, President of NJPW proudly commented. “This gives us a great chance to expose fans to NJPW in the building which housed so many memorable and compelling matches.”
Already confirmed for this show from NJPW are Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito, in addition to all of the top ROH Stars. This show is set to be massive in magnitude including many matches to be announced with championships from both companies defended. Fans will not want to miss this marquee event at a venue with such an amazing storied history of wrestling.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ring of Honor Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling to Madison Square Garden for the much anticipated G1 Supercard,” said Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President, MSG Marquee Events. “We expect April 6th to be another memorable night of wrestling at The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
ROH Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff is equally proud. “This is destined to join a long list of historical wrestling moments and where better to hold it than at Madison Square Garden. I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve as a company and am very appreciative of how great our relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling has become. However, none of this would be possible without our fans, who are truly the best in the world. Madison Square Garden would not be possible without them and for that I am most grateful.”
G1 Supercard is sure to be a historical event in New York City that promises to exceed all expectations.
Tickets will go on-sale on Wednesday, August 8th at 10:00 AM ET for HonorClub members and Friday, August 10th for the General Public.
Stay tuned to ROHWrestling.com for more information on G1 Supercard and other important Ring of Honor Wrestling news. Visit NJPW1972.com to follow your favorite NJPW wrestlers and for any other NJPW news or event information.