For decades Madison Square Garden has been thought of as WWE's home base. The World's Most Famous Arena a plethora of WWE events from multiple WrestleManias all the way down to house shows.
But ROH and New Japan "invaded" upon WWE's home territory and scheduled their G1 Supercard in MSG for April 19, 2019. The event sold out in just 19 minutes and it will be the first non-WWE wrestling event in the arena since 1960.
Bruce Prichard discussed what Vince McMahon was likely thinking when hearing that another promotion sold out his home arena.
"I think there is a big part of him that is probably hurt pretty bad, just thinking about the tradition of his grandfather and his father promoting in The Garden," Prichard said on Something to Wrestle. "But at the same time, the Vince McMahon of today has grown a lot too, and sees it as, alright, it is a part of growing. It is a part of progression and we will have a new home and move on."
What ROH and New Japan don't have is a stranglehold on the U.S. wrestling TV market like WWE has had for decades. For so long WWE put its focus on house shows as its main source of revenue. But when TV networks came calling and competition arose, that forced a shift into the emphasis being on televised events instead of house shows.
"As far as revenue for the company, when we started getting big television rights that was when it started to change," Prichard said about the shift from house shows not being the focus. "As well as when we started to have competition from WCW then we realized that we had to change the product and we had to compete, which we had to do it on television. We were being paid for that, in addition to the house shows, you are getting a television rights fee, which was when it started to change."
WWE recently signed a five-year deal with FOX to bring SmackDown Live to their network. The deal is worth $205 million annually and over $1 billion over the life of the pact and with those kinds of numbers you can see why TV shows are now the focus.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.