Ring Of Honor COO Jeff Koff recently spoke with Forbes. During the interview, he explained why he doesn’t feel ROH is on the brink of war with WWE. He also discussed the legal back-and-forth that occurred as a result of ROH & New Japan Pro Wrestling selling out Madison Square Garden for the upcoming G1 Supercard on April 6th, 2019. With all the success on the indies lately – the MSG sell-out and this weekend’s sold-out ‘All In’ event – Koff also said that he wouldn’t rule out possibly selling out a stadium in the future.
On if it feels like a war is brewing with WWE:
It doesn’t. If you want me to say it does, it doesn’t. I’m focused on my business, and they have a business and they’re really, really good at it and if we were to look at the two battle sides, I would feel like maybe—I was just watching Braveheart, so I’m going to just use that analogy here—maybe we’re William Wallace in that first battle for the first time. But at the end of the day, they run a business, I run a business.
There’s plenty of room in the space for both businesses, and I don’t consider this a war at all. And it would be a silly war to get into. I think we have to stay focused on what we believe in for our companies and follow that course.
On the legal back-and-forth between WWE, ROH and MSG:
“I think that it’s been probably blown up more than it is. There was conversation, and there was a back-and-forth and it got to a point where there was an impasse that had to be broken up. But the good news was there was continuous discussion [with MSG] throughout the process. And as long as people are in discussion and dialogue, and we can establish some kind of common ground as opposed to compromise, then things can happen. We just had to work through all those things.
“Obviously, it is their backyard, and it is their home arena. And I have to tell you, my love for wrestling began in that arena when it was on Eighth Avenue, and I saw my first match there. And I knew there was magic between those four posts and underneath those ring lights and it never left me. So to be able to fulfill this dream, not only for but for the fans and for the wrestlers was just penultimate. It was just fabulous.”
On if ROH will eventually play a stadium:
I won’t rule it out because I probably would have said ‘there’s no way’ about a Madison Square Garden. But let me just make a quick clarification, All In was not Ring of Honor. All In was Cody and the Young Bucks and their vision. How Ring of Honor played into that, is we supported them in doing this. So, they sold out the 10,000-seat arena. We didn’t. They did. They did it based on their following, they did it based on how popular they are and based on what they represent, so I don’t want to take anything away from them.
But now can it go back to a stadium? Who knows? I’d like to go back to the Brooklyn Stadium and sell that out. Cyclones Park (which seats 7,000), where we did a lot of wrestling over the years, to fill that out would be a great thrill for me. But when we talk about filling large stadiums, I’m not sure I see that within the next 12 to 24 months.