Rocky Romero recently spoke with Ryan Satin for Pro Wrestling Sheet while promoting New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s G1 Climax tournament. During the interview, Seth Rollins’ recent remarks about Will Ospreay and Ricochet came up, and Romero said he doesn’t have any issues with a wrestler in Rollins’ position being proud of the company he works for. He said that it feels like we’re approaching a time where everyone feels that way about their work, and he takes pride in working for New Japan Pro-Wrestling himself.
“I did see that Tweet. Good for him. I think good for him because he’s one of their main stars, right? He’s a flag bearer for them, and it’s important to—with what’s going on with all these new companies popping up and for wrestlers there’s so many options, fans have so many options—I think now we’re in a time of people trying to have pride in what they’re doing. I haven’t seen the show yet, but what I’ve heard is they tried to make a statement with this last event, to be like ‘hey, we’re trying to give fans what they really want. It’s not just this one way.’
I think that’s good. I think that it’s a healthy way for competition and business. It’s good for the professional wrestling business, it’s good for the fans, it’s good for the wrestlers. It’s like, what’s wrong with a little healthy competition when you say ‘you know we are still the best’ or we’re this or we’re that. I do it for New Japan all of the time because this is where I eat. They feed me, I eat the food. I take that and I’m able to have a house in Los Angeles, you know? I support the product because I believe in the product. I fully, with all of my heart, I believe in New Japan Pro-Wrestling as a product and I’ve been there for a long time. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t left because I truly believe in the product and what we’re doing is great. Kudos to him, I think it’s cool. If you don’t feel that way, then you should probably get out of there, wherever you’re at.”
Later in the interview, Romero did clarify that while he doesn’t have an issue with wrestlers taking pride in their work, he does have a problem with Rollins trying to diminish Ospreay’s level of talent. Romero said it appears that Rollins was “playing the game” a bit when talking trash, but noted Ospreay has made tremendous growth in recent years and considers him to be one of the top talents in the world.
“Speaking of Seth Rollins and what he said to Will—I completely dispute that. Nothing against Ricochet, he is one of my very good friends, but if you’re going to say something like that because you want to wave the banner around, it’s like ‘are you sure about that?’ Because I’m pretty sure we have the better version of whatever you’re talking about. I think that Ospreay is, like you said, from [the time of their match against each other at Best Of Super Juniors 2016] —they both have had completely different trajectories from that point. I think Will has really grown so much more than any other wrestler in that short amount of time. I think that’s he’s on the top five list at this moment without a shadow of a doubt.”
Romero also talked about the recent trend of major events going head-to-head against each other, notably All Elite Wrestling’s All Out going up against NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Royal Quest on August 31st. Romero said it’s easier to argue that All Elite Wrestling and New Japan aren’t really conflicting because they’ll take place in separate countries and NXT planning an event so close to where Royal Quest is does present somewhat of an issue, but we can only speculate as to what WWE’s motivation for the event was.
“AEW, I don’t think it really… different time zones, different countries, we’re not really stepping on anybody’s toes. I thought the NXT one was a bit interesting because then you’re right in the same country, or same backyard I should say. I wonder—and who’s to say, we can all just speculate if it was intentional or not to possibly hurt our business—it’s business. We’re all competing for the same fans, so why not I guess? They’re also maybe trying to prove a point like, ‘We have this brand, don’t forget about this brand. This is your brand in the UK, by the UK.’”
(Transcription credit to Bill Pritchard for Wrestlezone.com)