New Japan star Fred Rosser, best known as former WWE star Darren Young, sat down with Alfred Boima Konuwa III of Forbes to hype his upcoming match with Ren Narita at New Japan Resurgence. Rosser believes the match will come down to experience, something he has in abundance over Narita.
“He’s 22 or 23,” Rosser said. “I’m 37, going to be 38 on November 2. He’s young and he’s dumb and he’s got a lot to learn and he’s going to find out at Resurgence and beyond that ‘Mr. No Days Off’ isn’t a gimmic. It’s a lifestyle, a constant grind and struggle. It’s gonna be a dog fight.”
Rosser also revealed that he rooted for Japan while watching the Olympics. The reason is because New Japan was the first company to put him on a marquee, and thus he wants to support the country.
“I was watching the Olympics with my family and they were always rooting for the U.S. I was always rooting for Japan,” Rosser said. “My family would always say ‘why are you rooting for Japan?’ Because Japan was the first to put me on the marquee before WWE did. So it’s me, myself and I at this point in my career. New Japan brought me in so I must deliver, I’m going to deliver and the best is yet to come for me.”
A hot topic recently has been WWE releasing thirteen stars from NXT last Friday and nearly a hundred total talents over the past year. Rosser, who was released from WWE in 2017, offered some advice for the people let go.
“There’s so much that I’ve done after WWE,” Rosser said. “It’s not fun when you get that call, it’s just the nature of the business. I always say Michael Jordan can’t play basketball forever. And I’m never comparing myself to Michael Jordan, maybe his work ethic, but Michael Jordan can’t play basketball forever. Things come to an end with WWE. You have to understand that you beat your body up with WWE so you have to utilize what you’ve made of yourself with WWE and use that on a resume.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have many great sponsorships, I’ve been lucky enough to still continue to do what I love. I was denied by AEW, not once, but twice, but AEW wasn’t my all-in goal, it was New Japan and I pursued it with laser-like focus.”
The topic of diversity in wrestling was also discussed. Rosser, the first openly gay WWE superstar, talked about all his efforts to help spread diversity, while also pointing out that wrestling is still a ways away from where he’d like it to be on that front.
“There’s a lot of work to go,” Rosser said. “We need more reps, we need more reps at representation, we need more athletes speaking out. Being the first openly gay WWE Superstar, I have a duty to instill confidence in our youth and to lead by example. I’m not a social media type of person where I just talk about it. I went to the school before the pandemic, I speak to fifth graders, I speak to organizations like Viacom, I work with organizations like the Covenant House in LA that deals with LGBTQ homeless youth 42% of it, so I’m always grinding away. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a psychiatrist but I am a friend. That’s why I call myself the Suntan Superman. I’ve got to be a support system, a beacon of hope for not only the LGBTQ, not only the African-American, not only the Asian community but all communities.”