New Japan Pro-Wrestling & Ring Of Honor's Madison Square Garden show sold out in minutes
What's the story?
Nicknamed "The World's Most Famous Arena," Madison Square Garden as we know it opened in 1968. The last of the NBA and NHL arenas to not be named after a corporate sponsor, the building often known as "MSG" and "The Garden" has been considered professional wrestling's most important venue for decades.
WWE has been the only major wrestling company to hold an event at Madison Square Garden over the past 4 decades, something that WCW, ECW, TNA and other major promotions have not been able to do. However, this all changed in 2018 when it was announced that New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Ring Of Honor would be hosting the ROH/NJPW G1 SUPERCARD event in New York on Saturday, April 6, 2019 during Wrestlemania Weekend.
A pre-sale offering of event tickets for the ROH/NJPW G1 SUPERCARD show sold an estimated 60 percent of all tickets available. When the event went on-sale to the public on Friday, August 10, 2018, it sold out within minutes.
In case you didn't know...
This event is a joint venture between the 2 popular companies, not just a New Japan Pro-Wrestling show that Ring Of Honor happens to be part of. ROH and NJPW have had a symbiotic working relationship since 2014, which leads to the companies regularly exchanging talent.
Said ROH General Manager Greg Gilleland: “This is a joint venture that both companies are investing in... Both companies share the same goal of delivering the absolute best possible show to the fans.”
In terms of the significance of Madison Square Garden -- which had 3 prior incarnations before its current building -- as a venue within the history of professional wrestling, its history includes Bruno Sammartino winning the WWWF Title from “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers in 1963, Hulk Hogan beating The Iron Sheik for the WWF Title in 1984, and the first WrestleMania in 1985.
The heart of the matter
This event will shatter the previously-held Ring Of Honor live attendance record. ROH’s Supercard Of Honor is an annual extravaganza that began in 2006 and it drew a company-record crowd of more than 6,100 fans at last year’s show in New Orleans. Prior to that, ROH's attendance record was around 3,200 fans, which was the draw at the 2016 Supercard of Honor event in Lakeland, Florida.
Even more amazing about the ROH/NJPW G1 SUPERCARD is that those tickets were sold without a full card announced, a major public press conference, or either company doing substantial advance media.
Many things are interesting about the ROH/NJPW G1 SUPERCARD show beyond the wrestling itself. For starters, it shows the healthy economy for independent wrestling.
It then begs the question if ROH and NJPW have plans for more arena shows within the United States, given the companies' ability to sell out the "The World's Most Famous Arena" within one of the world's top markets. Furthermore, it makes one wonder whether these promotions will be stepping up their television product given the high-profile demand.