Last week, it was reported that the Ring of Honor was looking at booking Madison Square Garden for WrestleMania 35 weekend next April. A report from Pro Wrestling Insider then stated WWE had blocked them from booking the famous arena.
Chief Operating Officer for Ring of Honor, Joe Koff, spoke to PWI’s Mike Johnson.
“You know, I’m going to tell you Mike because you are asking. I’m not going to discuss beyond this statement because I am not going to litigate this in the press. We had a deal with (the) Garden and they then told us they were backing out after communications from the WWE. We are not able to get any other dates in any kind of discussion. I’m expecting that our lawyers will be contacting all the parties involved and the best we can hope for is that we can find resolution, and we can bring the kind of energy and excitement that ROH and our partner New Japan brings to a bigger audience and to bigger arenas to the fans of New York City.”
A recent report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is now stating WWE was able to block ROH booking the building with just one phone call.
WWE Blocks ROH From Booking Madison Square Garden
According to the Observer, ROH officials are furious about what happened and are looking at legal options.
“We were told last week by sources close to the situation that it could and probably would turn into an ugly legal fight.” Dave Meltzer on WWE blocking ROH at Madison Square Garden
Ring of Honor officials had been of the belief a deal had been struck, although the terms were agreed to orally and not in writing. MSG canceled the deal reportedly after one phone call from a high-ranking WWE employee (not Vince McMahon).
Sinclair believes a court would not uphold MSG’s cancellation of their agreement. This is the case despite the agreement never having been signed. There is also speculation that Madison Square Garden officials were looking for other wrestling promotions as WWE only runs house shows in the arena a few times a year. WWE does not generally broadcast television shows or PPVs from the arena due to the increased cost the venue charges for such rights. Some are saying MSG was upset the company will not be running WrestleMania from the arena despite being in the surrounding area.
AAA Lucha Libre has also expressed interesting in running MSG later this year.