BREAKING NEWS: ROH/NJPW Book Show at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden is one of the most respected venues in all of wrestling and, for a long time, became synonymous with the WWE in the wrestling world. That all changed today as Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the parent company to Ring of Honor (ROH) wrestling, has announced that ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) will run their G1 Supercard show on April 6, 2019, at the historic venue. For a number of reasons, this comes as a massive shock to most of the wrestling world. Here’s what you should know about the “supershow” that was just announced.
What is Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling?
Ring of Honor is the United States’ top independent promotion and New Japan is the closest thing to global competition WWE has. These two companies are often lauded as “true wrestling” when compared to the more commercial approach Vince McMahon has taken with the WWE. Many of the current WWE superstars come from these companies like Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, and plenty more. In other words, they are the breeding grounds for the best wrestlers in the world. Now that you know more about the companies let’s discuss why this is so important.
Why is this event special?
The G1 Supercard show is in direct partnership with NJPW. In the past, ROH has run it’s Supercard of Honor show during WrestleMania weekend with plenty of Japanese stars, but never with the G1 distinction. That means NJPW’s role in booking this event was vital. ROH had an upcoming show planned for Madison Square Garden, but after “communications with the WWE” the venue backed out. This was a devastating blow for independent wrestling fans as it felt as if McMahon had squashed any hope of another promotion running the venue. It’s likely here where NJPW stepped in and helped make the deal work. Now, during WWE’s sacred weekend, a massive show will take place the night before WrestleMania at the WWE’s favorite location. If you’re getting the sense this is a changing of the guard, you may be on to something.
In no way will this event exceed the media coverage or publicity of WrestleMania 35, but it does have the opportunity to become the most anticipated shows of the year. In a time where independent wrestling is seen by wrestling fans as an escape from the PG material WWE puts out, the G1 Supercard show allows both ROH and NJPW to expand their American audience. Simply put, this is the most important event both promotions have ever run. It’s a middle finger to the WWE and a massive step in the journey to becoming household names in the entertainment industry, not just the wrestling industry.
What’s Going to be on the Card?
That, we don’t know. The announcement of the event is massive in its own right, so no matches have been announced. It can be assumed that Cody Rhodes, the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Kazuchika Okada will be at the show, but matchups will be announced closer to the event. Chris Jericho is currently involved with New Japan, but the likelihood of him showing up at this event is low considering he likes to be on good terms with McMahon.
One thing that’s for sure is the booking team for this event will be held to a high standard as it will go head-to-head with NXT TakeOver. TakeOver is the sure bet for quality WWE programming and some say that last year’s New Orleans show was better than ROH’s Supercard of Honor. With that in mind, G1 Supercard at MSG should be the event of the weekend. That’s right. It will be better than ‘Mania, better than whatever event Joey Janela puts on, and better than TakeOver.
The Final Word
The hype is real for this, folks. Die-hard WWE fans will try to resist the show’s temptation at all costs and many ROH/NJPW fans will tell you already that the show will be better than ‘Mania with little doubt in their mind. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, even if you haven’t watched wrestling in years, I urge you to watch this event. Madison Square Garden is a notoriously raucous crowd and the wrestlers know that. Many performers will see it as the opportunity to put on the show of their lives and you should too. There’s no better time to be an independent wrestling fan than now and this event proves that.