How Vince McMahon Will React To ROH Selling Out MSG

The game is changing, and the WWE Chairman knows it.

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On Wednesday, 8 August, Ring Of Honor Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff announced that the promotion had already sold 60% of all tickets for their upcoming Madison Square Garden show - two days before their full release.

Today, 10 August, the event sold out within 12 minutes of hitting the general market.

All 15,000 are gone. If you want to attend the G1 Supercard (a co-promotion with NJPW), you’re looking at paying exorbitant secondary market rates.

This is a stunning success for ROH, NJPW, and the wrestling business as a whole. The event no doubt benefits from taking place on WrestleMania 35 weekend, but they’ll go head-to-head with an NXT TakeOver on 6 April, and will draw a crowd two-and-a-half times bigger than ROH’s previous record attendance (6,000 for Supercard of Honor XII this April). For comparison’s sake, WWE’s last MSG event (7 July) was built around Ronda Rousey’s debut in the building and The Undertaker’s first bout there in eight years. It drew 13,000.

Per the Wrestling Observer, the G1 Supercard will be the first non-Vince McMahon promoted show to ever draw a $1 million gate in North America, and the WWE Chairman and his company are the only clear losers here.

WWE’s market share is such that they may never face true competition again, at least in a business sense. Their economic advantage is colossal. ROH are bankrolled by a multi-billion dollar corporate in the Sinclair Broadcast Group, but never spend beyond their means. New Japan, meanwhile, reported revenue of $34 million in 2017 - just 4.2% of WWE’s total for the year period ($801 million).

McMahon stands to lose next to nothing, financially, from the event going ahead, but the idea that he doesn’t care is patently false, and ignores all historical trends. Ring Of Honor and New Japan aren’t true "competition," but they’re competitive enough for WWE to take notice.

CONT’d…

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A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.

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