Last weekend, Ring of Honor announced their intent to run a “G1 Supercard” event at Madison Square Garden in April 2019, but in releasing their initial promotional material and advertising for the show, the only top superstars featured were New Japan stars Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito and Kazuchika Okada.
Curiously, the promotion’s own top drawing acts – Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks, who sold out the Sears Center in Chicago in 28 minutes earlier this year – weren’t mentioned in the official press releases at all. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, who has sold out numerous ROH tours over the last two years based on his name value alone, was also noticeable absent.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Omega’s current contract with NJPW expires on January 31, 2019. Cody and the Bucks all signed new deals around the same time, which is both good and incredibly risking for the company, and their contracts expire at the end of 2018.
More than likely, Ring of Honor officials are going to push hard to get new contracts signed ahead of time to begin properly advertising the Madison Square Garden show and start putting the top tier matches together. Selling out the most famous arena in the world will more than likely come down to The Elite, at least a big part of The Elite, being attached to the card in a big way.
It’s unlikely that any of them will be signing with WWE, but given their financial status with the new TV rights deals going into play next year and Sinclair also in a good place to spend more money, hypothetically the group could create a bidding war (ala Brock Lesnar pitting WWE and UFC against each other) in order to secure better deals. Of course if they really wanted to WWE could could push all-in and offer a deal they know nobody could match, and it wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the new money they have coming in, but that comes down to two things; how aggressive do they really want to be, and whether or not anyone in The Elite would even let things go that far.