Rocky Romero Recalls Gedo's Reaction To AJ Styles Leaving NJPW For WWE

"Mr. Forever" Rocky Romero has certainly lived up to his moniker. With a storied wrestling career spanning 25 years and numerous promotions, including Ring of Honor, AAA, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Romero has gone from NJPW Dojo trainee and aspiring luchador to tag team expert, crafty manager and the self-styled "King of Sneaky Style."

It is his wide breadth of experience and extensive travels that has not only allowed Romero to build an impressive worldly resume in the pro wrestling industry, but also bear witness to behind-the-scenes moments that have led to critical shifts in the pro wrestling landscape over the last several years.

One such scene Romero touched on in the September 21, 2022 episode of "The Undisputed Podcast" with the host, former All Elite Wrestling star Bobby Fish.

Romero's story brought up the then-impending departure of AJ Styles (as well as Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) in 2016 from NJPW to WWE, coming on the heels of NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 10 pay-per-view. While Romero and Roppongi Vice partner Baretta were prepping with other teams, including The Young Bucks, for a four-way tag team title match at the event, Romero's mind was on his long-time friends and their final day in NJPW.

While Romero had been made aware the night before the Wrestle Kingdom event that it would be the last night of competition for both Styles and the future Good Brothers, it kept him on edge as to how one of NJPW's leaders would react to their sudden departure.

Gedo Learns of Styles' Departure

Romero explained, "This was a day before the Tokyo Dome, and I knew what was going to happen because ... Anderson and Gallows, we're really tight, and they had to kind of tell me the night before 'Hey, we're going to talk to the boss man and let him know that we're out of here, and AJ's going, and we're going right after him' ... so we're all trying to make the match, but I remember the Bucks and I were, like, invested in these two."

Suffice to say, Romero and others tried their best to remain professional, but were all the more anxious as to see how Gedo would process the fact that three of his biggest stars were departing from the NJPW family:

"We're trying ... like, really trying to watch what was going to happen in this whole conversation ... when they broke the news to Gedo that they were leaving, that they were on their way out. So we're kind of watching the whole thing, and that was the day we saw ... I literally saw Gedo go 'Oh s**t, you guys are leaving, AJ's leaving, oh man.' He's totally feeling it, then he scans the room, and he just sees Kenny (Omega) and then it's like 'Okay, AJ's out.' You could just see it in his face. He just locked eyes on Kenny and he's like 'Kenny's the guy now.' It kind of went down all at the same time, it was pretty cool."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Undisputed Podcast" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.