Ring of Honor Wrestling is reportedly looking to hold what would undoubtedly be the largest non-WWE show in North America since the closing of WCW next year during WrestleMania weekend at Madison Square Garden.
In looking at possibly running MSG, which has been the unofficial New York home of WWE for over 40 years, a major shot has been fired by the hot independent company, at least metaphorically speaking.
However, WWE isn't one to back down from a fight. WWE is reportedly doing everything they can to prevent the ROH show at MSG. This despite the company itself not booking any shows for MSG during next year's WrestleMania week in the Big Apple (they've booked the Barclays Center in Brooklyn instead).
Sinclair Broadcasting CEO Chris Ripley originally broke the news this week that ROH is planning on running the MSG show the Saturday before WrestleMania. ROH officials, notably Joe Koff, acknowledged the idea is being discussed but didn't go any further.
According to this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there are many pieces moving behind the scenes right now with Vince McMahon and WWE doing whatever they can with their MSG connections to block ROH from holding an event there.
WWE has essentially had exclusive rights to producing pro wrestling events at MSG for decades now. WCW did not run the building, instead typically booking the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. However, the difference back then was that WWE held far more shows at MSG than they do today (especially televised ones). Lately, the company has chosen to book the newer (and cheaper to rent) Barclays Center in Brooklyn for television tapings.3comments
That's not to say that WWE doesn't still hold events at MSG; they have a major untelevised live event scheduled for next month involving The Undertaker. And if the Observer is to be believed, they don't want to give up MSG's "holy ground" to any other wrestling promotion.
There's no word as of now if WWE is close to being successful at blocking the possible ROH show. What's also interesting to note is that AAA out of Mexico is also planning a show at MSG on September 16. There's no word on if WWE also intends to try to block that show, though it's likely McMahon and company see AAA as less of a domestic threat as compared to Ring of Honor Wrestling.