Rocky Romero spoke with Uproxx on having total creative freedom in NJPW and understanding a wrestling audience. Here are some of the highlights:
Understanding a wrestling audience and adjusting matches to be either more serious or more comedic:
"Those are two very different ends of the spectrum. For some people it can go either way. I think it just depends on what the situation is calling for. One thing that I learned at an early age in wrestling was always know what your audience is and who your audience is because it's always going to change. Some people in L.A. are going to like these kind of things, but they're not going to like the comedy. Then you go to New York and then they want all comedy. It also depends on who you're wrestling, right?
It's crazy but it actually makes sense. My trainer, Kevin Quinn, would tell me, 'Hey, we used to go to different towns and somebody might like the Rock in San Antonio more than whoever. They like Stone Cold more than they like The Rock in San Antonio.' Then you go to Phoenix and it's completely different. You kind of have to know what town you're in. If we go to a smaller country town usually comedy stuff will work better because they're going to see so much actually wrestling with an Ishii on the card, or Shibata or something.
They're going to get their fill, so how do we make ours a little bit different but still get our point across? And when it's time to get serious, we'll get serious. I think that's the important lesson in all that. For me, it's not always 100% of the match is either funny or not, it's sixty or seventy percent and then that last thirty, forty percent has to be serious. We're still trying to beat each other because there's still a goal at the end of this."
Having total freedom in NJPW:
"We have all the creativity in New Japan. We really have free reign there. Character-wise you can do whatever you want, you can say whatever you want. There's no restrictions to anything. That's why you've seen those funny, mean videos of Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa cursing up a storm. There's nobody to tell us that we can't. Really, to work for such a big company and have that much freedom, it's unheard of. I didn't have to separate things or compartmentalize and say 'Okay, well I'm going to use this for this.'
It was cool, the music fit into the character, then this, and I just added stuff that was actually me and not just playing a role for somebody like I did in Mexico whatever. It just all came together and then I just kept coming. I was just like I'm going to keep creating stuff until somebody tells me, 'Hey, you should stop doing that, because it's not very good."
Romero also discussed getting into making music. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.