NJPW star Rocky Romero was the latest guest on the Battleground podcast to discuss a wide range of topics, including how former AEW world champion Kenny Omega helped facilitate KENTA’s stint with the promotion, his thoughts on his Dynamite match with Bryan Danielson, and how he believes the AEW and NJPW relationship is for the long haul. Highlights from the interview are below.
How Kenny Omega helped facilitate KENTA’s short stint in AEW:
It kind of started with [Chris] Jericho [AEW/NJPW crossover], obviously [Jon] Moxley being a guy who’s important to both companies and Moxley always wanting to do something and kind of being that main focal point because obviously, he wasn’t really mixed up into the drama of what was going on between AEW and New Japan and wrestlers, whatever and then the third big component I feel like besides Tony [Khan] was obviously Kenny [Omega]. Kenny being a part of it and kind of Kenny — Kenny was one of the ones who reached out first and just said, ‘Hey, I know Moxley and KENTA have this thing and I’m doing this…’ Obviously he had a big rivalry with Moxley as well so you know, Moxley being the focal point… so you know, obviously Kenny and New Japan had their issues as he left New Japan to join AEW and I think — so that was a big step in the right direction and obviously Kenny is incredible at what he does. He’s literally one of the best, he’s a true pro and obviously to see the grand picture, he was the one that kind of who helped facilitate that amongst, I guess, probably at least the EVPs, you know?
On NJPW’s talks with WWE and how their relationship with AEW if for the long haul:
You know, I mean I don’t know how much I can actually say but could say that definitely they reached out. You know, WWE definitely reached out as they do every X amount of years I feel like they reach out. I mean obviously [Bryan] Danielson being in the middle of that was no secret and it was no secret to Tony [Khan] either or AEW so, obviously Tony was a part of that too once Bryan was completely free and clear to make those talks with him so, so yeah. There was — a lot of people talk, you know what I’m saying? There’s talking. I wouldn’t go so far to say that there was ever gonna be a deal made or anything like that. It’s just like, you know, WWE comes knocking on the door and they wanna talk, people are gonna listen to what they have to say but I mean obviously working with AEW versus working with WWE is two completely different things, you know? Where 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. I mean obviously because, you know, New Japan wrestlers kind of leaving New Japan helped to start AEW so there’s always been that crossover connection so, it just seems to make sense in the grand scheme of things, 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 gonna be a — like the Hangman Page, Kenny Omega feud, this is gonna be a long-term thing so I think people are excited of course and they’re ready for [Kazuchika] Okada to show up and fight Kenny at Full Gear or something but like, I think this is gonna be a long-term thing because both companies are building themselves up right now, you know?
On his Dynamite match with Bryan Danielson:
It was really cool, it was really cool [being back in the ring with Bryan Danielson] because I mean, it kind of happened short notice too. I think I got the call on a Friday and then I showed up on Dynamite on that Wednesday so, Tony [Khan] called me and he was like, ‘Hey, you know, I was talking to Danielson and I was just thinking like, man, it’d be cool if we had some forbidden door action maybe this next week on Dynamite and you know Danielson’s been getting ready for the pay-per-view. It might be an opportunity to do something with Danielson’ and so I was thinking of course like, ‘Who are they gonna be interested in?’ Maybe like Juice [Robinson] or [David] Finlay or somebody and then he goes like, ‘Yeah, we’re talking maybe Rocky Romero versus Danielson.’ I was like — it took me a second because I was like, ‘Wait what? Oh me!? You want me!?’ Yeah, and I was like, ‘Oh, that makes sense.’ You know, because obviously Danielson and I have so much history going back to the original L.A. Dojo, training together and making our debut in New Japan in October of 2002, just two young kids, you know? So why not? ‘Yeah, that’s kind of cool. That’s a really cool thing’ and then I was just really happy with how it turned out and I thought the match was really, really cool and first time being on Dynamite and being on TNT was awesome. To be doing it against somebody who I have that kind of history with and all of a sudden, obviously he’s a huge frickin’ superstar now so, getting to go toe-to-toe with him and showing what I got was amazing so…
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)