Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Chris Ripley spoke with The Business Journal of Baltimore and revealed that Ring of Honor is set to make their debut at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2019.
No word yet on when the ROH – MSG debut might happen but this comes as the arena has been reaching out to pro wrestling promotions as WWE has not been running the venue consistently, choosing the Barclays Center in Brooklyn instead. MSG has always been seen as a “home arena” for WWE but there was some heat from the venue over WWE not running any of their WrestleMania 35 events there. It’s very possible that ROH could run MSG head-to-head with one of the WWE shows during WrestleMania 35 Week next year.
If you’re a newer or more casual wrestling fan, you’re probably reading this and it barely moves the needle for you. Who cares, you might say. It’s just a big arena in NYC whoopity doo, might be what you are thinking. Well, CLEARLY, if that’s you’re thought process in any way, then you don’t know the history of WWE and Vincent Kennedy McMahon that well. Here’s a nice gif that perfectly shows how Vince (probably) reacted to this news.
You see, Madison Square Garden is far and away the most SIGNIFICANT building in WWE history. Here’s just SOME of the major things that happened there:
The first Wrestlemania
The Rock’s Debut
Jimmy Snuka’s iconic dive off the top of the steel cage
Mick Foley’s WWE debut of “Cactus Jack”
Stone Cold getting arrested for giving Vince the stunner
The First Ladder Match
Kane first unmasking
First ever table match
And so on and so forth. Hell, the reason I still love wrestling to this day is becuase of a moment at a televised house show my dad took me to on December 28th, 1990 where a young Richie Rich, then just 6 years old, reached out over the railing, with my dads assistance of course, and touched his then idol, the immortal hulk Hogan. I even found this moment on the network, with a pic of it here:
There’s been more major wrestling moments for the leader in sports entertainment in that building than anywhere else. That’s not to say that WWE didn’t open themselves up to this coup by ROH to move into their “home arena”, not by any means.
When The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the great home base of BADFORBRAND.COM and the birthplace of Nick and I, both sides saw an opportunity. The Barclays wanted the big drawing WWE, & the WWE didn’t want to pay MSG booking fees, so they struck a more lucrative deal. WWE still runs shows at MSG, but generally the major ones all go to Brooklyn now when they are in NYC. Still, there’s no doubt Vince sees this as a shot fired. Sooooo what happens next?
I’ll tell ya what happens next. My crystal ball is showing me something. It….it looks like…..BAH GAWD THATS THE ELITE!!!!!
You hear that sound? Listen closely. That’s the sound of the revenge Brinx truck backing into each of their driveways. You think Vince McMahon, the alpha male of all alpha males, is gonna let this happen and do nothing? ABSOLUTELY NOT! He’s gonna go and take their 3 biggest stars & watch them scramble to bring in outside talent to make the card respectable enough to sell about 8,000 tickets.
Vince is no fool. He’s stubborn, he’s old school, he’s even a decent amount out of touch with what the people want at this point, but he’s no dummy. He sees the dollar signs and that’s what these guys are. MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEYYYYYYYYY. They have literally caused Hot Topic, a massive national retailer that’s in every mall in the country pretty much, to move all the WWE shirts to the back because these guys move more merch THAN THE ENTIRE WWE (in their stores / on their site). Vince is the king of this business, and his motivation is simple: make as much money as possible and crush all legit competition. Signing The Elite accomplishes this in every single way.
Making this move takes the backbone of ROH away and brings it to him, thus keeping them in a space as a minor inconvenience. It gives them the ability to possibly get the rights to the Bullet Club name (the value of the name will most certainly drop if these three aren’t attached to it anymore, therefore allowing Vince to make an offer to NJPW and own the rights to a cash printing press in the wrestling world). It will allow factions to make a major comeback in WWE (HUGE faction guy along with fellow badforbrand member Dan. I’m pretty sure we view this site as a faction). Could you imagine Bullet Club / The Elite vs NWO ?!?!?!? If the pic below is not how that possibility made you feel, then it’s safe to say you’re not the fan you thought you were.