CBS Sports recently spoke with Ring Of Honor (ROH) General Manager Greg Gilleland for an interview. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On when the idea to run Madison Square Garden came about and if it is something the promotion had been toying with for a while: "It’s not like it was something that we had in mind for years, but it’s definitely something that we’ve always kind of joked about. The general notion was just that we couldn’t even get in there. You know what I mean? Gary Juster, who used to promote for WCW, and I would always have these conversations. It’s funny because he would say, ‘I guess I’ll never run The Garden in my lifetime.’ It became one of those never say never things. In February, when we were looking for venues in New York, obviously we saw the Hammerstein, with pretty much any show that we bring there. So it almost doesn’t make sense to go there for SuperCard weekend. We began looking at bigger venues and one of them was the theater at Madison Square Garden. And, even that, seems … was smaller than UNO [Lakefront Arena], which we ran last year in New Orleans, and we drew 6,200. So we could run the theater and draw a slightly smaller crowd, and be okay with that. Or we can try to go bigger."
On whether or not they saw more of an opportunity because WWE was running more shows at the Barclays Center and other arenas in New York: "I knew they did everything at Barclays, and they have the outdoor show for WrestleMania. So… there’s Prudential Center [in New Jersey], there’s The Garden, and we had a couple other back-pocket ideas. So, obviously, The Garden’s the best. The location is prime. Now, the Garden comes with a cost, since it’s probably the most expensive venue to run in the country. With that, we knew that, when you go into that, it has to be big. So that was the only factor. We felt pretty confident that presenting this show, and the ability to make history and the ability for the fans to be a part of history would overcome that factor."
On if there are any concerns that talents like Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega won't be available for the show due to the fact that there contracts are reportedly up before the big MSG show: "Of course, we’re going to do everything that we can to keep them. And we have fair offers and fair plans to retain them. With that said, I don’t think we ever operate in fear. We always operate with solid backup plans. And we have to always think about what if this, and what if that. If they go to the WWE, and they very much deserve that opportunity, we’ll continue to offer the best wrestling that we can. There’s other talent out there. And we will continue as our brand has for the past however many years. We’ve lost top guys before… Am I gonna make an aggressive attempt to retain them and sign longer-term agreements? Of course we are. But, at the end of the day, the ROH brand is about the ROH experience, and that’s how we continue to grow."
Check out the complete Greg Gilleland interview at CBSLocal.com.