ROH has come a long way since being founded in 2002 and being under the ownership of Cary Silkin from 2004 to 2011. It was then sold to Sinclair where Joe Koff has become the promotion's newest COO. Wrestling Inc. conducted separate interviews with both Silkin and Koff where they discussed ROH invading "WWE territory" and hosting a show in Madison Square Garden.
"It's beyond surreal. Here we are 12 days to the show and it doesn't even seem it's gonna happen," Silkin told Nick Hausman.
"Obviously it's a great accomplishment and a shocking achievement with the way everything worked out. Yes, I kept the company alive. Yes, Sinclair and Joe Koff, particularly, if it wouldn't have been him it may have not worked.
"The relationship with New Japan is wonderful. The relationship with CMLL is wonderful."
Silkin then talked about how when he was a kid he couldn't attend wrestling events in New York due to the New York Sports Athletic Commission. When he was 14 he finally got to go to The Garden and saw "Classy" Freddie Blassie take on Pedro Morales.
"To now be in The Garden and to be able to walk out to our Jethro Tull music and to be able to sit ringside and watch this incredible card…" Silkin said before reminiscing about all of the other sporting events and concerts he's witnessed at MSG.
"Something about the building has life. The World's Most Famous Arena – they don't call it that for nothing…. It's my favorite place to see things and now I'm gonna be part of. So it's very surreal and I almost want to get it over with as I just want it to happen."
It's been decades since someone other than WWE held a wrestling show at The Garden as the McMahons had a stranglehold on the building.
"[WWE] secured it in the late, late 50s and sort of had a stranglehold on it," stated Silkin. "Although WCW did some shows…and I was talking to Kevin Sullivan and he said those shows drew terribly.
"They couldn't get in The Garden and they learned from that. We almost couldn't get in The Garden, but we did so here we are."
As for why ROH and NJPW were able to get into The Garden, Silkin believes that those who run it felt snubbed by WWE holding shows everywhere in New York except MSG this weekend.
"You have Vince McMahon who is this genius business man, and he's running Friday at The Barclays, Saturday at The Barclays, Sunday is MetLife and Monday and Tuesday are back in Brooklyn. I think The Garden felt a little snubbed," revealed Silkin.
Silkin is hoping this isn't a one-and-done experience and wants ROH to run more shows at MSG.
"Yea I do think there's a chance [or running more shows there]. I spoke with the current management and they liked the idea and who knows what's gonna happen," said Silkin.
"I feel with this change in the wrestling climate and with AEW…I believe that ROH, with the help of New Japan, could do The Garden again without WrestleMania. It would be a project but I think it could be done. I think our product is really good right now," Silkin said before adding that they've always been able to survive even with the attrition of top guys like Bryan Daniel, CM Punk and Kevin Owens.
In Joe Koff's interview with Scott Fishman, he was also asked if ROH could become a regular tenant of The Garden.
"I think we are taking it one match at a time and one event at a time," said Koff. "The people at Madison Square Garden have been nothing but professional. They know how to do this. I've been to Madison Square Garden shows that aren't wrestling as well. They are a fine-tuned machine with their space. I'm sure if they feel we can do this again, they'd want us again. I think the right opportunity has to exist. We'll explore all those opportunities and start thinking about that on April 7. Maybe the 8th. Maybe we'll rest on the 7th."
Koff was then asked about the long-term effects of running a show at Madison Square Garden and how it could boost locker room morale.
"I think we've been upgrading our buildings throughout. This has been an opportunity because this is where the big event was for us to take advantage of this size and magnitude. At the end of the days, our guys are going to be stoked," said Koff. "It's going to be a tremendous morale booster, as it should be.
"It is hallowed halls, but as soon as that show is over, we have to set our sights on Pittsburgh and Columbus the next week. I think the guys know that. I think the guys are going to revel and have this memory forever. Then it's back to business on Monday. That's how we look at it."
ROH and NJPW present their G1 Supercard this Saturday night from Madison Square Garden. The event will stream live via FITE and will be available to ROH HonorClub members.
The full audio from Wrestling Inc's exclusive interviews with Joe Koff and Cary Silkin were included in today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded audio player below.