Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling will be holding the biggest non-WWE wrestling event in New York City this century when they arrive at Madison Square Garden on WrestleMania weekend (April 6th 2019).
There have been numerous reports over the past few weeks alluding to a potential intervention from WWE to prevent this historic show from even happening. Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff recently spoke to the Wrestling Observer about the change of heart from MSG officials when a lawsuit against the decision to “block” the event almost became a reality: “(MSG) did what they had to do as a business and I guess all of a sudden there was a phone call and we were able to work it out. That’s probably their story to tell because they made the call and said, ‘let’s get on the phone and see if we can work this out.’ They wanted us. They knew that we would be a good promotion. I think they were just looking for a satisfactory outcome for all parties.” You can read the full report here.
With the show taking place on WrestleMania weekend the question now moves onto who will actually be appearing? Ring of Honor have already confirmed that “all of the top ROH Stars” will be present (which was to be expected) but who will be representing NJPW?
The official names already confirmed are Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks are not being advertised as their NJPW deals could potentially have expired by this point (their deals are reported to be January to January).
If Omega and the Bucks resign for NJPW then you can guarantee that they will be announced for Madison Square Garden around January/February however with the event running against a huge NXT Takeover there will need to be big international drawing names confirmed and as soon as possible…The Wrestling Observer recently revealed that Ring of Honor have serious interest in bringing former WWE Champion CM Punk back into the fold, presumably for the MSG show but at this time it is considered a ‘long shot.’ Allegedly “feelers have been sent” but that is as much as we know at this time.
Could CM Punk return to Ring of Honor? Punk’s fame and notoriety is almost the stuff of legend at this point. Every single pro wrestling company in the world would jump at the opportunity to get him on their books. Punk himself stated that he was “done” with wrestling prior to his recent UFC loss to Mike Jackson so have his views changed? Only Punk could tell you that.
The lure of performing in the main event of a Madison Square Garden show AND potentially taking a shot at WWE might be too good an opportunity to miss…but does CM Punk even NEED to return to the squared circle at this point? Again, only Punk could tell you. If Punk does decide to return then a match against Kazuchika Okada for the ‘Best In The World’ moniker would undoubtably sell out MSG, so here’s hoping that might happen.
Do you think that CM Punk could return to wrestling for the Madison Square Garden show? Let us know in the comments.