The following is a video clip of Jim Cornette discussing Ring of Honor's debut in Charlotte:
TNA has issued the following press release:
RING OF HONOR DEBUTS IN CHARLOTTE APRIL 3 WITH "THE BIG BANG!"
"Pro wrestling will explode into the 21st century on April 3rd." said Jim Cornette, Executive Producer of ROH and no stranger to the Carolinas wrestling scene. The legendary manager of tag team greats The Midnight Express and former Charlottean has fond memories of the days when wrestling was Charlotte's biggest pro sport, and explained, "This event will showcase the emergence of ROH as the most exciting, athletic, hard-hitting and competitive style of pro wrestling in this country, with the youngest talent roster in the sport and a more serious sports approach than either WWE or TNA, the current industry leaders."
Cornette was in Charlotte on January 14 to make the official announcement of "The Big Bang!" at a taping of WCCB-TV 18 FOXCharlotte's "Got Game" show with Sports Director Bruce Snyder. "Just as the original Big Bang was the catalyst to life in the universe, ROH is presenting "The Big Bang!" on April 3rd as the starting point when wrestling joins the new millenium. The other national promotions have gotten out of touch with what today's younger fans, as well as the disenfranchised fan of the 80's and 90's wants--new stars, competitive action, a more serious approach--not a bunch of grey-haired men yelling at each other about what took place 15 years ago, silly comedy skits with midgets and matches lasting three minutes. "The Big Bang!" will change the face of wrestling and show that ROH is on the cutting edge of the new style."
Ring of Honor is targeting a variety of groups with the event. "There will be something for everyone", Cornette explained. "For fans of MMA and UFC, there is a big influence from those sports on ROH's style. The large pro wrestling internet community has it's eye on ROH as the new leader in in-ring action and young stars. The older wrestling fans are telling us they have missed the serious, sports-oriented flavor of wrestling back in the Jim Crockett Promotions days, and are glad to see ROH bring it back. And there is the Latino audience, containing many wrestling fans, which other companies are not serving."
There will be quite a Latino influence to "The Big Bang!". As well as the ROH matches, featuring the top stars on the roster in action and including the ROH World Championship and World Tag Team Championship belts being defended, there will be matches contested by authentic practitioners of the Mexican cultural phenomenon known as Lucha Libre, imported specifically for this event. "We already have commitments from a number of Luchadores", Cornette said, "including Blue Demon Jr., one of the biggest names in Mexico. He is known throughout the Latino community, and even in the States through his popular energy drink. The Lucha style of wrestling is exciting, high-flying and technical, and we are looking forward to presenting it to the audience in the states."
""The Big Bang!" will be heavily publicized by one of our promotional partners, Norsan Multimedia, the largest Latino communications company in the state. Their radio stations, LaRaza 106.1FM, Latina 102.3FM, alfa1060AM and Formula 1310AM, as well as their newspaper, Migente, and online portal Descubrecharlotte.com, will be involved in the promotion of the event and will have a presence that night at the Grady Cole Center. We plan to have a variety of Lucha masks and merchandise available for the fans of that style, and wish to invite all the Lucha fans among Mecklenburg County's 200,000 Hispanic residents to join us."
The Grady Cole Center was not selected as the site of "The Big Bang!" at random. Known in the 60's and early 70's as the Park Center, the venerable building at 310 N. Kings Drive, next door to Charlotte's Memorial Stadium, was the site of weekly wrestling for promoter Jim Crockett Sr.for decades, and many Charlotteans grew up talking about the Park Center exploits of legends like Johnny Weaver & George Becker, Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen, Ole and Gene Anderson, and a rookie named Ric Flair.
"We recognize the symbolism of returning to the place where wrestling gained popularity in Charlotte," Cornette said, "so we are giving tribute to wrestling legends with a special free meet and greet with Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey, the Midnight Express, former NWA World Tag Champs and current Hall of Famers. We'll have a special booth where fans can sign up for or get info on the annual NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend, which takes place in Charlotte in August. And we'll have a special match featuring two of the top wrestlers currently appearing for the Carolinas' independent promotions."
Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday, February 15th at 10AM EST at ROHwrestling.com, or by calling 215-781-2500. The Grady Cole Center Box Office will be open all day 10AM to belltime 7PM on April 3rd. Ticket prices are Golden Circle Front Row $50, Second Row $40, Ringside $30, and General Admission $20 with children 12 and under only $10 in GA. Matches, stars, and other information for the "The Big Bang!" will be released regularly on ROHwrestling.com between now and the night of the event. If you are not near enough to Charlotte to attend live, this landmark event will be broadcast in it's entirety on internet pay-per-view around the world via ROH's partners at Gofightlive.TV. If you have HDNet through your cable or satellite provider, you can follow the announcements and updates on Ring of Honor's television program Mondays at 8PM EST.
If you are a wrestling fan, says Cornette, you will want to be there. "The atmosphere at live ROH events in New York, Chicago, and Philly is amazing. I expect Charlotte to be off the charts. If you're a wrestling fan, you have to experience this, preferably live but at the very least on pay-per-view. ROH fans in Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia and all over the world who follow the promotion via DVD and the internet will have their eyes on Charlotte, North Carolina on April 3rd. As the advertising says, "The Big Bang!" is where it all begins...AGAIN!"