Joe Koff responds to the talks.
WrestleMania weekend is one that features not only the NXT TakeOver and WrestleMania festivities but a number of promotions and companies hold shows in the same area that WrestleMania is in because of the amount of wrestling fans that will be in the area. Promotions like Game Changer Wrestling and the WrestleCon events host shows not only during WrestleMania weekend but during WWE's other big PPV's such as Survivor Series, SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble.
It was recently announced that Ring Of Honor was set to partner with New Japan Pro Wrestling to present 'G1 Supercard' at Madison Square Garden on April 6th. The show sold out within an hour but the event's success in terms of the sellout is connected to WrestleMania in the eyes of some compared to an event such as 'All In' where there were no other major professional wrestling events in town that weekend. Ring Of Honor COO Joe Koff responded to those sentiments when he was interviewed by 'Paste Magazine' to promote last night's 'Death Before Dishonor XVI' PPV and went in detail about the success of G1 Supercard and it being on WrestleMania weekend.
"Yeah, again, we apply a lot of disciplines to our decision making, and we’ll take a look at that." Koff said. "We’ll take a look at that outcome. The partnership with New Japan would lend that to other arenas. We need to get through this one first, and then we can have those conversations. But those conversations, you know the Madison Square Garden conversation really started internally when WrestleMania was announced to be in the New York area, and that’s kind of what precipitates the building or the venue that you would need to have a show that weekend. Obviously it’s a fantastic place to have a show, because not only are there so many wrestling fans who love to come to New York, but the metropolitan area, within three hours each way—north, east, south, west—you have probably, what, 30 to 40% of the population of the United States? It’s a pretty big place to draw from, and I think that was the challenge. I’m not in [WWE’s] minds, I don’t know how that planning goes, and maybe they thought that, well, if we go to New York, where are these other promotions going to play? Because they probably don’t like everybody “living off” their back, and I don’t think that’s the case at all." Koff stated. "Their shows stand on their own, they sell out on their own, why shouldn’t the fans who come for that weekend have an ability and availability to see other promotions that they may not get a chance to see? It works for everyone. That weekend is a fan’s weekend. We can call it what we want, we can label it what we want, people can say what they want, but it’s really one of the great weekends that belong to the fans in wrestling.
The wrestling community—and I’m going to use that word because I just value it so dearly—when you’re a wrestling fan, and you’re at a match, you’re with people who are also wrestling fans, and are comfortable in their skin being a wrestling fan. There’s not a lot [of places] outside of the wrestling matches or on the internet or in the sheets where you can be so overtly a wrestling fan, and not be kind of looked at a little, you know, crazily, and to be able to come to a weekend like that, regardless if it’s New York or New Orleans or Orlando, or wherever it’s going to get done, that’s an opportunity for a fan to be a fan and not to have to hide their fandom." Koff explained. "That’s the wrestling community. It’s been created, it’s been grown, every organization should take a little bit of credit for that—one organization likes to take all the credit for that (and maybe it’s duly deserved, and I really say that in respect of them)—but we’re starting to see that they’re not the only promotion, and since Ring Of Honor has really been active in the business, which is really because of our television and our distribution and our company and just the way we have done our business, I think we’ve made wrestling a better business because of our presence. We see that with talent, with our talent that currently wrestles with us, talent that has left us to go wrestle with other promotions. The business is good and I think the business is good partially because of us, and I’m proud of that."
Former WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens recently gave his take on ROH and NJPW selling out on WrestleMania weekend and to hear his thoughts on it, click here. Also, as mentioned, ROH's 'Death Before Dishonor XVI' PPV wrapped up last night and to hear the Fightful team's thoughts on the show, head over to the "podcasts" section of the site.