New Japan star Rocky Romero joined the Battleground Podcast to talk about New Japan and it’s working relationships with promotions like AEW. Rocky Romero also discussed the difference between companies like WWE, which relies on theatrics, and AEW and New Japan, which present theatrical aspects in wrestling in a different way.

“I think there’s theatrics, but I think it’s a different type of theatrics,” Romero said. “Because it’s more about the character and the characters kind of do their own thing. Like having a championship that matters, which you know AEW has been great about. You guys are talking about Hangman Page. He just won the title and that was a year long feud, and that was great storytelling. That’s what everybody wants. Everybody wants to be the top guy, everybody wants to be the champion. So let them figure it out for a year. And still, that story still isn’t even done, because you can tell Kenny’s won one and Adam Page has one. Obviously we’re three or four years from seeing where that goes. That’s the intriguing part.”

Rocky Romero has benefited greatly from the Forbidden Door alliance between AEW and New Japan, having worked matches on both AEW Dark: Elevation and AEW Dynamite. At one point however there were rumors that New Japan would instead be working with WWE after talks between the two sides became public in May. Rocky Romero detailed just how close the two sides got.

“I don’t really know how much I can actually say,” Romero said. “I can actually say that, definitely, they reach out. WWE reached out, as they do every X amount of years, I feel like they reach out. Obviously Danielson being in the middle of that, and it was no secret to Tony (Khan) either or AEW. Obviously Tony was a part of that too, once Bryan was completely free and cleared to make those talks with him. So yeah. A lot of people talk. There’s talking. I wouldn’t go so far to say that there was ever going to be a deal made or anything like that. It’s just that if WWE comes to the door and they want to talk, people are going to listen to what they have to say. But obviously working with AEW versus working with WWE is two completely different things.

“With AEW, they have a true understanding of New Japan and what the product is and have a complete respect for the history of the product for what the product is, for the wrestlers and how they do it. Obviously because New Japan wrestlers kind of leaving New Japan helped start AEW. So there’s always been that crossover connection. It just seems to make sense in the grand scheme of things with both companies working together. And I think it’s been, obviously, it’s just been the beginning of it. And I think that this is going to be like the Hangman Page-Kenny Omega feud. This is going to be a long term thing, so I think people are excited of course. And they’re ready for Okada to show up and fight Kenny at Full Gear or something. But I think this is going to be a long term thing, because both companies are building themselves up right now.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Battleground Podcast and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription

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